Lewis Hamilton believes he can win in 2013

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Lewis Hamilton is confident that he can claim at least one win in 2013 despite Mercedes suffering with aggressive tire wear so far this season, stunting its race pace.

In Bahrain, Hamilton’s teammate, Nico Rosberg, qualified on pole position, but the German driver suffered with severe rear tire wear throughout the race, finishing 9th despite being on a four-stop strategy. However, Hamilton is sure that he will be able to win races once this problem is resolved.

“I am hopeful we can win this year, particularly as we have things coming in the pipeline with upgrades and improvements for the car,” Hamilton explained in an interview with Sky Sports.

“In some places the degradation isn’t going to be as bad as in Bahrain and I’m confident we can stay out front.”

In the interview, Hamilton also spoke about his decision to leave McLaren after over a decade of association, and he refused to compare the team with his current employers.

“Everyone moves on and tries something new and I’m really enjoying it. But not because it is better – it’s just different.

“The team is different, there’s a different set of people who l am really enjoying working with and it’s a new set of challenges, which is what I wanted.”

Hamilton’s decision appears to have been vindicated by McLaren’s poor start to the 2013 season, with the British team currently occupying 7th place in the constructors’ championship, whilst Mercedes sit in 4th. It remains to be seen if the 2008 world champion can continue his run of winning at least once in every season he has competed in, and his showing at the Chinese Grand Prix suggests that he could challenge the likes of Red Bull and Ferrari in the coming few races.

Williams to wait until new year before making 2018 F1 driver decision

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Williams will wait until the new year before making an announcement regarding its Formula 1 driver line-up for the 2018 season.

Williams holds the final vacant seat in F1 for next year, with Felipe Massa retiring at the last race of the 2017 season in Abu Dhabi at the end of November.

The Brazilian’s departure has opened up a seat alongside Lance Stroll for 2018, which looked poised to be taken by Robert Kubica, over seven years after he last raced in F1 before injuries sustained in a rally accident appeared to cut his career short.

Doubts emerged about Kubica’s comeback following a test with Williams in its 2017-spec car in Abu Dhabi after the final race of the season, leading to Russian youngster Sergey Sirotkin becoming the favorite.

Besides Kubica and Sirotkin, ditched Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat is also an option, but Williams has now confirmed it will make no decision on its line-up until the new year.

Sirotkin first entered the frame in F1 in 2013 when he became a development driver at Sauber, with Russian backers SMP Racing pushing to get him a race seat for the following year.

Sirotkin missed out on a full-time role at the team, leading him to focus on racing in Formula Renault 3.5 for 2014 before spending two years in GP2, where he finished third in the standings in both seasons.

Renault struck an agreement to sign Sirotkin in a junior role in 2016, leading to a number of practice run-outs over the last two seasons, but he was passed over for a 2018 race seat when it signed Carlos Sainz Jr.

Williams emerged as an option for Sirotkin following a successful maiden test with the team in Abu Dhabi alongside Kubica, with talks now set to continue over the holiday period.

Sirotkin has not taken on a full-time race program this year, making just a single competitive appearance in the 24 Hours of Le Mans with SMP Racing in the LMP2 class.

Sirotkin has also been involved in the development of the team’s BR Engineering-designed LMP1 car for the 2018 FIA World Endurance Championship season, and is likely to secure a seat should he miss out on the role at Williams.