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Hamilton No.1 at Mercedes - Stewart

ESPN Staff
April 5, 2013 « Teams seeking extra winter test in 2014 | Faster pit stops a priority for Lotus »
Nico Rosberg was ordered to stay behind Lewis Hamilton in Malaysia © Sutton Images
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Sir Jackie Stewart thinks there is "no question" that Lewis Hamilton holds the upper hand in his intra-team battle with Nico Rosberg at Mercedes.

Hamilton joined Mercedes this year and has so far outscored his team-mate Rosberg, but in Malaysia team boss Ross Brawn implemented team orders to keep Hamilton ahead. Brawn insisted he would have done the same had his drivers' positions been reversed, but Stewart thinks Hamilton is top dog at Mercedes.

"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," Stewart told BBC Sport. "He's also started the season well. Nico has won a race (in China last season), but he has yet to follow that up.

"Mercedes have got themselves a very expensive driver and they'll want him to do well. They've got the people who Lewis feels will be good for the team. Paddy Lowe is coming from McLaren and I'm sure part of the reason is because Lewis is there.

"Nico is a skilled and talented driver and he may well be better on his tyres but he would have learned his lesson in Malaysia that you can't leave it until the last minute to try and take the initiative. It'll be interesting to see how he responds."

Stewart also thinks Mercedes can win the championship if it keeps in touch with Red Bull.

"Yes, they can win races," he added. "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."