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Hamilton doubts China repeat for Mercedes

ESPN Staff
April 9, 2013 « Williams targets Spain for recovery | McLaren bringing upgrades in response to car issues »
Nico Rosberg took a dominant victory from pole position in China last year © Getty Images
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Lewis Hamilton doesn't think Mercedes can emulate its dominant win from 2012 at this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix.

Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher started on the front row at Shanghai last year, with Rosberg going on to take a comfortable victory by 20 seconds. However, despite Mercedes making a strong start to this season Hamilton has warned that it is unlikely to be able to dominate in the way that it did in 2012.

"Mercedes were in a unique situation at the track last year and got everything right," Hamilton is quoted as telling The Sun. "The tyres are different this year so you have to anticipate that it's going to be a little bit different there for us. Walking off into the distance is probably not going to be the case ... If the car works well there and we get a similar result it'll be amazing."

Team principal Ross Brawn was similarly cautious, warning that the team has a lot of work to do to close the gap to Red Bull.

"The Chinese Grand Prix of course holds great memories following the first win for Nico and our Silver Arrows team in Shanghai last year," Brawn said. "That win was an extremely proud occasion for us all and certainly one that we hope to emulate in the future. Our season has started well, perhaps better than we expected, however we're fully aware that there is still a gap to close and that we must keep up the pace of development."