Lewis Hamilton says Mercedes must be 'perfect' just to hang on to the early pace makers in the Formula 1 World Championship.

Hamilton has enjoyed a successful start to his career at Mercedes having joined from McLaren in the summer, and took pole position at the Chinese Grand Prix earlier this month.

Despite his and team-mate Nico Rosberg's apparent pace neither man has been able to claim a race win this season however, with Ferrari and Red Bull emerging as the fastest teams on the grid.

Hamilton concedes that Mercedes aren't quite at the level of their illustrious rivals -  who sit above them in the Constructors Championship - as yet, and says they must do everything they can to stay in touch until new upgrades arrive.

"I feel like we're holding on by the skin of our teeth," he said.

"The guys at the factory need to keep pushing because we're not that far off and if we can just make that next step we can close the gap with them."

Hamilton went into the 2013 season insisting he had no designs on a title tilt to add to the crown he won back in 2008, but his consistency so far means one could be on the cards.

Two podium finishes and two 5th places in Australia and at the Bahrain Grand Prix last weekend leave him well positioned in third in the Drivers' Championship.

"I'm very proud of what the team have done getting the car turned around to where we are already," the Briton continued. 

"I feel very fortunate to be where we are points-wise and finishing-wise but of course we need to keep pushing."

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