Hamilton expects Ferrari challenge


Lewis Hamilton expects Ferrari to challenge Mercedes in Formula One this season despite a one-two finish for the Silver Arrows in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

Sebastian Vettel had to settle for third place in Melbourne on Sunday, with Nico Rosberg getting off to a winning start and Hamilton second.

Kimi Raikkonen retired and a poor strategy choice prevented Vettel from finishing any higher than third, but world champion Hamilton expects the Italian manufacturer to be a threat this year.

"Ferrari's overall race pace, I was never really around them, but I thought they looked quite quick," said the Brit.

"They were on a different tyre to me on a different strategy, so he looked quick at the end. Hopefully we are going to have more close races like that going forward, but I don't think Nico had trouble staying behind him on the medium tyres when he was on the supersofts.

"I've a really good feeling about my pace, you've seen all weekend that I was ahead. But I am hoping it is going to be a good battle.

"There are going to be races where we are five to 10 seconds ahead and races where we will be wheel-to-wheel."