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Three-time world champion Lewis Hamilton lauds `awesome` F1 season so far

17 April 2017

Just as was the case in Australia, the Chinese Grand Prix showed the battle between Mercedes and Ferrari is a very close one.

"We are working so hard and so are Ferrari", said Hamilton, fresh from his victory in China last weekend.

Lewis Hamilton recounts his race with Sebastian Vettel in the F1 2017 Drivers' Championship as the "ultimate fight" he has faced in Formula 1.

Mercedes, however, holds a narrow lead in the constructors' championship.

Triple world champion Lewis Hamilton, level with Vettel on 43 points after one win and a second place each from the opening two races, was 10th fastest in 1:34.636 while Finnish team mate Valtteri Bottas was 14th.

Formula One is fun again.

It wasn't a particularly satisfactory day for joint points leader Lewis Hamilton, either. Either Vettel or Hamilton have won the title in six of the last seven seasons.

The Bahrain Grand Prix takes place Sunday at 11AM ET from Bahrain International Circuit. There is little to separate them and they are clearly relishing the battle.

Hamilton, who drives for Mercedes, fell out with retired world champion and former teammate Nico Rosberg last season as the two looked tussled for the championship. "I think the gaps will be even closer but we shall see", said Hamilton.

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"It's awesome sportsmanship - when you win he enjoys it and acknowledges it, and when you lose the same thing". And even when you lose it's the same thing.

"Ferrari have done a great job and it is great that we are both pushing".

"In the mixed conditions it felt like we were the quickest, we were the quickest, man", the 29-year-old enthused to his team over the radio.

After winning last weekend's Chinese GP, where Vettel finished second, Hamilton drove up alongside Vettel's auto and gave him a thumbs up.

In the meantime, how the two cars cope with high temperatures and manage their tyres in blistering conditions will be critical this weekend with a heatwave forecast in the desert of Bahrain, venue of round three of F1 2017. With this in mind, Vettel says he is fortunate to have been able to get back on course.

"It's the way it should be in my opinion", replied the four-time champion. "He is at his best and he is phenomenally quick", Hamilton told reporters after winning in China. "And Ferrari are at their best in years, in a decade, pretty much", Hamilton said.

Meanwhile, Hamilton has predicted the title battle will continue to ebb and flow throughout the season. Past year we found quite a high degree of wear and degradation, so it will be interesting to see how this has changed with the introduction of our 2017-specification tyres. On top of that, they now have a new major rivalry brewing.

Pole is not as crucial in Bahrain as in other races, but a good start is.

The dash to the first corner is 400 meters and flat out fast, and braking at the right time heading into it will be crucial. He finished third a year ago as well.

Three-time world champion Lewis Hamilton lauds `awesome` F1 season so far