Hamilton predicts close fight with Ferrari


Lewis Hamilton may have been the fastest man in China on Friday, but the Mercedes driver has warned they will "definitely have a race" with Ferrari on Sunday.

Having been stunned by Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari in Malaysia, Hamilton and Mercedes hit back during the two Free Practice runs on Friday with the defending World Champion fastest in both sessions.

He was more than one second quicker than the Ferraris in FP1, but the gap was reduced to 0.443s by Kimi Raikkonen in FP2 while both Ferraris were right up there on the longer runs.

"I think we definitely have a race, like we said we would," he told Motorsport.com. "It’s between us and Ferrari, and Nico is quite quick as well."

After spending a lot of time in the garage during FP2 in Malaysia due to an engine problem, Hamilton was happy to get laps under his belt.

"I’ve had a full day (of running) today, which makes a big difference," he added.

Both teams seemed to be evenly matched on the medium tyres, while Hamilton just had the upper hand on Vettel on the softer rubber.

"To be honest, I don’t really know how long I went on both tyres," he said.

"The prime didn’t feel so good, but it didn’t feel too bad on the option – we need to analyse compared to the others."