Mercedes hope to reign in Spain

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The 2013 FIA F1 World Championship kicks-off its European leg this weekend, when the Grand Prix circus moves to the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, writes James Beckett.

Sebastian Vettel heads the points table but he will find his lead under pressure in Spain from his closest rivals that include the Brackley-based Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton.

Hamilton and his Mercedes team-mate, Nico Rosberg, have both impressed during the opening races and the team are confident that a victory is not far away.

Hamilton said this week: “Everyone at the team has been working really hard ahead of Barcelona. We are in good shape and don’t feel any pressure as we start the European season.”

Paul di Resta, lead driver for the Silverstone-based Sahara Force India team, is also looking forward to starting his European campaign.

The young Scottish racer, who narrowly missed out on a podium finish in Bahrain, is currently eighth in the overall standings on 20 points with team-mate Adrian Sutil 12th.

He said: “I like the track at Barcelona and I think the Force India-Mercedes will be well suited to it. Our season is going well and I think we can expect a good points haul from myself and Adrian.”