Lewis Hamilton: Threat from Ferrari F1 team is 'exciting'

Reigning Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton says the prospect of more battles between Mercedes and Ferrari during the 2016 season is exciting

Lewis Hamilton: Threat from Ferrari F1 team is 'exciting'

Ferrari drivers Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen capitalised on slow starts for Hamilton and Nico Rosberg to lead more than half of the Australian Grand Prix, before Mercedes' tyre strategy enabled it to get back ahead to take a one-two finish.

Hamilton believes Ferrari will remain a thorn in the side of Mercedes, and he is looking forward to more battles between the top two teams from this weekend's Bahrain GP.

"I'm excited at the thought of more races like Melbourne," he said.

"There are going to be weekends where we're a few seconds up the road from Ferrari, races where it's wheel-to-wheel and races they might be ahead.

"We really don't know, and that's exciting.

"Bahrain has been entertaining for the past two seasons, so more of the same would be great."

While Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff believes the team's advantage in Australia was "healthy", he and Nico Rosberg are also preparing for another battle with Vettel and Raikkonen - who missed out on victory by 3.3s at Sakhir in 2015.

"We've stepped up our game once again, but Ferrari were a real threat all weekend in Melbourne and it's clear that we've got a big battle on our hands," said Rosberg.

"I've had some great battles in Bahrain in the last two years with Lewis and the Ferraris, so I'm expecting more of the same and looking forward to that."

Wolff added: "We have made a solid start to the season.

"However, while our advantage in Melbourne was a healthy one, it was close enough that those bad starts could easily have cost us that race.

"Bahrain is a race that should suit Ferrari, so we expect even smaller gaps and a very close match this weekend."

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