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McLaren's Lewis Hamilton in awe of Red Bull speed

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton
McLaren are expected to make some minor upgrades ahead of Melbourne

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton believes rivals Red Bull are "ridiculously faster" than the rest of the F1 field.

Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel led in Bahrain before slipping to fourth, with team-mate Mark Webber eighth behind Ferrari's winner Fernando Alonso.

"The Red Bull is ridiculously faster than anyone else's car. It's insane," said Hamilton.

Red Bull clinched victory in the final three races of last season to finish second in the constructors' standings.

And Hamilton believes the Milton Keynes-based team, the only leading outfit to retain the same driver line-up over the summer, hold an advantage in the current campaign.


"At the end of the year, they had so much more than us, even though we had won a couple of grands prix," he said.

Vettel was impressive in qualifying on pole position round the Sakhir circuit and had built a commanding lead of over five seconds on Alonso before his first pit-stop.

A faulty spark plug was blamed for the subsequent loss of power that saw the German overtaken by Alonso, his Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa and Hamilton.

Hamilton believes Melbourne's street circuit suits his McLaren better than the Middle East.

"I'm looking forward to Melbourne. I like the circuit, I think we will go well there and I don't think we will have the same problems that slowed our progress in Bahrain," he said.

Hamilton finished third on his F1 debut at Albert Park, before returning in 2008 to claim the first victory of his championship-winning season.

But it was the scene of controversy for the 25-year-old last season as he was disqualified for misleading race stewards, an incident that prompted the sacking of McLaren sporting director Dave Ryan.

Practice for the Australian Grand Prix, the season's second race, begins in Melbourne on Friday.

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see also
Alonso triumphs as Vettel fades
14 Mar 10 |  Formula 1
Vettel stuns Ferrari to grab pole
13 Mar 10 |  Formula 1
McLaren dismiss long-serving Ryan
07 Apr 09 |  Formula 1
Hamilton loses Aussie GP points
02 Apr 09 |  Formula 1
Hamilton wins dramatic F1 opener
16 Mar 08 |  Formula 1
Hamilton outshines Raikkonen win
18 Mar 07 |  Formula 1

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