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Hamilton "not expecting" F1 defeat by Ferrari

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Hamilton "not expecting" F1 defeat by Ferrari
By:
Mar 30, 2015, 9:30 AM

Reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton has admitted that he didn’t expect Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari to be so quick so soon, and that their Malaysian Grand Prix victory on Sunday took him by surprise.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 with the drivers as the grid observes the national anthem
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF15-T
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W06 and Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF15-T battle for the lead of the race
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 Team
Grid girl for Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari on the grid

Hamilton seemed visibly rattled when told Vettel was now only three points in arrears after the German's victory in Malaysia – Ferrari's first in almost two years.

"Three points behind me? Really? Wow," said Hamilton. "Yes, well, we've got to get our feet down, (I mean) our head down and keep pushing on."

Surprised by Ferrari

Hamilton admitted his shock at Ferrari's pace this weekend, but said he "welcomed the fight".

"Naturally we were not expecting them to be as quick as they were," he said. "But as we said after the last race, we welcome the fight.

"This is what it's all about. It's great to have a battle with the Ferraris, I wish we were wheel-to-wheel. Maybe we'll have that in the next race."

Factoring Vettel into title battle

When asked if he would take Vettel as a serious threat to steal away his world title, Hamilton replied: "Of course we will, because he's a player with us.

"They look like they've taken another step this weekend. In the past, they've struggled to get tyres working in cooler temperatures, so it steers them towards this being a good track for them. Others maybe not."

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