Lewis Hamilton maintains Ferrari have the quickest race car this season and says his Mercedes need improvements if he is to win his fourth world title.
Lewis Hamilton fears that, despite steering his Mercedes to victory in Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix, Ferrari have a faster car and he faces an uphill struggle to catch title leader Sebastian Vettel.
The 32-year-old Briton, who reeled off his fifth win of the year to reduce Vettel’s lead to seven points with eight races remaining, said he had found it difficult to resist the German’s attacks
But he thinks his win was largely down to having track position after taking pole position, stating Sunday’s win had taken “everything out of him” to maintain the lead.
“I think Ferrari were ultimately quicker. I was just able to keep them at bay,” Hamilton told Sky F1.
“If the cars were reversed I don’t think I would have been able to hold as close as he did.
“If anyone’s out there thinking we have the best car this year then they need to think again, because it’s not the case.”
Mercedes introduced an updated engine at Spa with the Mercedes’ straight-line speed just enough to rebuff Vettel’s charge.
“I think we have the upper hand power wise but we’ve got to keep improving,” said Hamilton. “The pressure is on. The next race, package wise, should be similar to this weekend but when we get to Singapore that’s really when the test is going to be shown where Ferrari should be really fast as they were in Hungary – so we will see.”
The Mercedes driver added: “Ferrari have had the most consistent season and while we’ve had a solid and well put together weekend, it was only just enough to stay ahead.
“I hope we have more to come and we need more to come in order to win this thing for sure.”
“It’s going to take everything from every single one of us to finish these next eight races and come out on top. That’s how a championship should be so I’m really looking forward to that challenge,” the Briton said.
“It’s going to go right down the wire. I’m sure he was waiting for me to make mistakes but that was not happening. It can come down to that, down to reliability, that shift in performance a millimetre either way and then down to our consistency.”