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Mercedes still looks off the pace - Hakkinen

ESPN Staff
February 13, 2013 « Pirelli announces tyre choices for opening races | Hulkenberg will bring consistent results - Sauber »
Mika Hakkinen: "At Jerez Mercedes was not exactly on the speed that I expected them to be" © Sutton Images
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Two-time world champion Mika Hakkinen is not expecting Mercedes to be competitive with the likes of McLaren this season.

Hakkinen won both his titles with McLaren in the late 1990s but has worked with Mercedes in recent years as a brand ambassador. After seeing the results of the first test he is not convinced Mercedes will be in the running for victories.

"I have a strong feeling that the McLaren is in top form this year," he told BBC Radio 5 Live when asked about Lewis Hamilton's prospects for 2013. "We saw at testing at Jerez that the Mercedes was not exactly on the speed that I expected them to be. I don't see them to be competing too much this year."

However, Hakkinen said he would reserve full judgement until after the next test in Barcelona.

"The first test of the season is always a little bit like gambling, you don't get a 100% picture of exactly where is the performance of the car. It's a little bit too early to say. I believe the next test in Barcelona is going to be more interesting to see who is on the top of the list."