“It’s not ‘no chance’, it’s not ‘yes, we definitely will’, it’s somewhere in between I think,” he said when asked if he could compete for the championship this year.
“I think we definitely will be able to win a race at some point during the season. I hope we can at least but when that will be, who knows?”
“I think it’s important to bring everyone back down to earth and realise we’ve still got a lot of work to do,” he told media in Barcelona.
“Mercedes are doing a great job, both in the engine department and also with the car, it’s obviously a lot better than it was last year.
“But we’ve not seen Jenson [Button] in the car today, we’ve not seen Sebastian [Vettel] in the car or [Fernando] Alonso. So it’s everything to play for at the moment.”
Asked if he could judge how competitive his car is compared to the competition, Hamilton said: “I have no idea.”
“This is a good track to test, it can give you a rough idea. If your car’s good here then it should be good at other places throughout the year.
“But I just look at their car last year, it was quick at Monaco so the street circuits should be quite competitive. When it comes to the downforce circuits it’s quite tough there.
“The most important thing is while single-lap pace can be easily achieved it’s more long-run pace that’s going to be tough.”
“We won’t really know until we get to the first race,” he added, “but don’t be surprised when we get to the first race and we are not at the front and we, as I said before, have work to do.”
2013 F1 season
- Take F1 Fanatic’s new 2013 season quiz
- F1 Fanatic’s new year thanks and credits 2014
- The complete F1 Fanatic 2013 season review
- The drivers, teams and cars of 2013
- Schumacher’s condition “slightly improved” after second operation
Browse all 2013 F1 season articles
Image ?é?® F1 Fanatic | f1fanatic.co.uk