Belfast Telegraph

Lewis Hamilton still with plenty to do, insists Niki Lauda

By Ian Parkes

Niki Lauda insists there is still all to race for in the 2015 Formula One championship despite Lewis Hamilton's impressive start to his title defence.

The Briton has taken three victories out of the opening four rounds as he looks to win a third drivers' championship, taking a second-place when the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel proved too strong for the usually-dominant Mercedes in Malaysia.

And Lauda, himself a three-time world champion and now a non-executive chairman at Mercedes, believes that showing proves Ferrari can push Hamilton and team-mate Nico Rosberg all the way - starting at this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix.

"The season is not finished, it (the Spanish Grand Prix) is the fourth race only," he said.

"Ferrari is very strong, there is no question about it, and as a racing team you should never think that nobody can catch you, then you make a big mistake.

"There will be close racing all the way through the season."

Hamilton heads into the race at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya in good spirits following another impressive victory in Bahrain - but is expecting to be pushed.

"Bahrain was a tough race so to come away with the win was a great feeling and it's amazing the start we've had this year," he said.

"Next up it's Barcelona, which is a great place to start the European phase of the season.

"The weather is always good and the circuit is a real test of every aspect of the car, which is why we go testing there.

"Racing there is tough - it's usually hot and the circuit is incredibly physical.

"But the support I have in Spain is growing every time we go and, having tasted success there for the first time last year, I want to do it in even better style this time."

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