Lewis Hamilton says he’s impressed by the progress Red Bull have made with new power unit supplier Honda and predicts they’ll be in the fight with Mercedes and Ferrari throughout the season.Max Verstappen overtook Sebastian Vettel during the Australian Grand Prix and closed on Hamilton at one point.
“It’s great to see the improvement that it’s had for their team,” said Hamilton after Mercedes finished one-two in the opening race of the season. “Obviously they were with Renault for such a long time and obviously he was able to pass a Ferrari.
“It’s awesome Red Bull are there with us and I think we’re going to have a really great battle through the year between the three of us. I’m sure Ferrari had something not right this weekend but I’m pretty sure their car is still good.
“I think it’s going to be a brilliant rest of the season. I think for Honda, I remember watching Ayrton Senna drive with the Honda, they were a force back then and it’s great to see them back up there.”
However Vettel is not as convinced F1 will see a three-way fight between in the top teams this year.
“I can’t speak for other people but I think we have three big teams and I think all of these three teams have the potential to have a very strong year,” he said.
“We’re looking on ourselves first and hopefully both of us will be ahead of everybody else. But I think we’re aware it will be very close.”
The Ferrari driver also tipped Pierre Gasly to bounce back from his difficult first race weekend at Red Bull.
“I think Pierre as well got a bit unlucky [on Saturday]. I don’t think he was much off the whole weekend compared to Max. So his race was pretty much lost from the start.
“But I think all of these six drivers from the end will have a word to say. Hopefully as long as possible for all of us to be in the fight and then see where we are.”
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2019 F1 season
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