Stewart: Hamilton can win the title in 2013

Mercedes AMG F1 Team

5 April 2013 by TF1T Staff

Lewis Hamilton can challenge for the title with Mercedes in 2013, according to three-time world champion Sir Jackie Stewart.

Hamilton came into the season, after moving from McLaren to Mercedes, claiming podiums would be unlikely in the first half of the season, yet he finished third in just the second race of the season.

That has pushed expectations higher and many, including Hamilton, believe a race win in 2013 for Mercedes isn't far away.

Stewart however, reckons comes the end of the season, as long as Mercedes get their development path right, Hamilton can challenge for his second title.

"Yes, they can win races," he told the BBC. "Lewis will drive the living daylights out of whatever car he's got.

"They can challenge for the title but they will need to keep up with Red Bull and Ferrari in terms of development," he added.

"If the Red Bull is as good as it can be, that's your main opposition while Ferrari are already more competitive at the start of the season than they were last year.

"The Lotus is very competitive, too, and McLaren will fight back, but [Mercedes team principal] Ross Brawn is an extraordinarily talented man. Mercedes exist to win and they have the resources to do so."

The 73-year-old says Hamilton has the "upper hand" over team-mate Nico Rosberg, despite the latter having to hold position in Malaysia under team orders.

"There's no question that Lewis holds the upper hand because he's had more success - he's had more race wins and a championship. He's also started the season well. Nico has won a race [in 2012], but he has yet to follow that up."