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Mercedes will be a force to be reckoned with in 2014 - Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton is certain Mercedes will have one of the strongest packages on the grid next year as Formula One shifts to smaller capacity turbocharged engines.
Mercedes is one of three engine manufacturers that will supply the grid with 1.6-litre turbocharged V6s and Energy Recovery Systems in 2014. The smaller engines and the cooling requirements for the turbos will result in chassis redesigns, giving engineers the first opportunity to completely revise their cars since 2009.
Hamilton believes Mercedes will produce a very strong engine and, after learning lessons from this year's campaign, a strong chassis to match.
"I'm not really thinking about it too much at the moment, but I feel very comfortable that Mercedes HPP [High Performance Powertrains] will do an incredible job with the engine. I am certain we will have a very strong engine next year," he said. "But it's going to be tough for everyone. The new regulations mean that you have to do a further distance [on fuel] and reliability and everything will become a player.
"I'm excited about it. Tyres will undoubtedly be an issue because they always will be, but I'm comfortable with the team and where they have got to now in their understanding of improvements in the wind tunnel and understanding the development process through a season. I'm really confident that next year we will be in a competitive position."
Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg said he had already taken a hands-on approach with the 2014 car development back at the factory.
"Slowly but surely I'm thinking about next year," he said. "You have to as a driver because it's important and I want to give my input. There will come a point where you can't change things because they are done, and I like to get involved and get a head start. We are looking into it, it's a gradual process and more and more I am looking into it as the year goes on.
"It's very interesting, there are so many massive changes and you don't know where the main performance advantages are going to come from. Is it going to be the engine? Or is it more car? We will have to wait and see."