Formula 1

Niki Lauda not confident about Lewis Hamilton's chances

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Legendary F1 figure Niki Lauda believes Sebastian Vettel’s 25-point lead over Lewis Hamilton is unbridgeable, that is unless the German fails to finish at least one of the remaining races.

However, Hamilton is confident in pulling himself back into contention with 14 races still to go in the season.

The Brit has two victories up to this point in the schedule as opposed to Vettel’s three.

Vettel has managed to pull away through consistent finishes, whereas Hamilton’s inconsistency has left him lagging.

He has been off the podium on two occasions already, whereas the German driver has yet to finish outside the top two.

Mercedes non-executive chairman Lauda has spoken of his concern at Ferrari’s lead.

He said: "We need to find a solution for the tyre window. And one thing is clear: Vettel needs to retire at least once, otherwise it's over. Ferrari has got a momentum going.

"If it stays like this the gap will become huge - alarming."

Lauda’s comments come on the back of another frustrating weekend for the Mercedes team.

Hamilton began the Monaco race in 13th after being knocked out of qualifying in Q2. The former champion did manage to score points, however, clinching seventh place in the Monte Carlo street race.

Hamilton was in a defiant mood when quizzed afterwards.

"Of course, I can't afford another weekend like this.

"At the current rate, where Ferraris are quick, of course not. There’s no point dwelling on the fact that you cannot afford it. You just work towards trying to rectify whatever issues you've had and hope that you don't come across it again.

"It's not like we came to Monaco unprepared, it's just things didn't get off right to us, and the car was in a really different place than we've really ever had it before."

Although the 32-year-old is not completely happy with the way things are going this season, he has not lost hope.

"This car currently is not working every single race we go to but the more races we do, the more we learn and the stronger we get.

"We know that the Ferraris are not bulletproof, they've got things potentially coming up, all the totals they've used or potentially used, so we'll see."

Next stop on the race schedule is Canada on June 11

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