Formula 1

Lewis Hamilton predicts Mercedes struggle for 2018

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You would expect life to be pretty sweet for Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton right now.

Although last weekend he was unable to convert a pole position to a victory at the Malaysian Grand Prix, a second place finish meant a further extension of his championship lead over his German rival Sebastian Vettel.

Due to mechanical issues of the red cars of Ferrari, Hamilton has built a commanding lead in the title race, and looks odds on favourite to become champion for the fourth time.

Despite all of these positives, it is the competitive edge of Hamilton that has seen him contemplating next season rather than only looking short term.

Speaking after Malaysia, Hamilton was concerned by the worrying lack of pace the car showed at times compared to rival teams at Red Bull and Ferrari, and the Englishman is concerned for the future if these issues are not addressed.

He said: "We've done an exceptional job with what we have. There are some really big problems which I can't really explain to you. But we really need to make sure we rectify them for next year's cars if we really want to fight both Ferrari and Red Bull when they step up their game.

"There is a lot of work for us to do -- but there's nothing we can do, it's the way the car is. People have been saying all year long that we've got the best car. It's a fact at some races that the car has turned out to be better but overall, globally, I think it's worked out that we haven't."

Undeniably, the last few years have been ones of dominance for Mercedes, especially since the birth of the V6 turbo era back in 2014.

Complacency is a familiar enemy for teams in Formula 1, though, as has been proved time and time again that history and legacy do not guarantee success in the future.

Although the power hungry track at Suzuka for the Japanese Grand Prix should suit Mercedes and favour them for the win, it is understandable why Hamilton wants to push for perfection.

It could be argued that had fortune not smiled on them the last few races at Malaysia and Singapore, the shape of the title race could look massively different.

With big improvements expected from the other top teams in F1 in 2018, Hamilton will hope that the German team heed his words for the future.

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