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'Nothing we can do' to catch Red Bull - Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton says there is nothing Mercedes can do to close the gap to Red Bull this year and believes the pace Sebastian Vettel showed at the Singapore Grand Prix represented the true gap to the rest of the field.
Vettel has won the last three races for Red Bull, with his most dominant display coming in Singapore where he was two seconds per lap faster than his rivals at times. With the title race now looking very one-sided and teams shifting their focus to 2014, Hamilton said Mercedes was powerless to respond to Red Bull's dominance.
"If you look at the onboards, he [Vettel] is on the power at least 20 metres before everyone else, which is a huge advantage," Hamilton said.
"There's nothing we can really do. We're always asking for more rear downforce and we always want to get on the power sooner. But the last time I was able to put the pedal down that quickly was in 2007 when we had traction control. It's a lot different."
Hamilton finished fifth in Singapore after losing out behind the safety car, but still thinks Mercedes was well off the pace of Red Bull.
"I think that's the true pace of their car," he added. "Perhaps they have a lot more in the bag then we get to see. So they are just cruising generally. On the restart everyone is pushing flat out so there's no reason why they could be able to pull away that much quicker."
However, Hamilton said he is still improving all the time at Mercedes.
"The last couple of races haven't been that good for me, but before that I have been growing an understanding of the car, growing an understanding of how to extract the most from it and we have grown as a team in terms of how we communicate," he said. "I hope this weekend is even better in that sense.
"We are constantly making changes, even after the last race weekend there have been things we can improve on in terms of communication. So hopefully we'll see a better weekend this weekend."