Hamilton believes Mercedes can challenge for world title

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Lewis Hamilton has given the strongest indication yet that the Brackley-based Mercedes AMG Petronas team will be in a very strong position to fight for the FIA F1 World Championship title next season.

FIA regulations will see Grand Prix teams adopting a new engine formula for the start of the season, with the high-pitched 2.4-litre V8 engines ditched and replaced by 1.6-litre turbocharged units.

F1 is set for a change in noise, as the engines are to be less noisy than those currently used with Mercedes becoming just one of three engine manufacturers supplying teams.

The smaller size of the 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 is excited about the changes, and believes Mercedes will be in pole position at the start of the 2014 season.

He said: “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.

“It’s going to be tough for everyone. The new regulations mean that you have to do a further distance on the fuel available and reliability and everything will become a player.

“I do believe that we will be very strong and in a position to challenge for wins and, who knows, maybe the title.”

The team have tasted success this season, with both Hamilton and Nico Rosberg clinching wins, but there is an expectation that the team will significantly improve in 2014.

Hamilton added: “I’m excited about it. Tyres will undoubtedly be an issue, 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.”

The 2013 Formula One season resumes on August 23 when the teams head to Belgium.