Lewis on track for ‘tremendous season’

Nigel Mansell has hailed Lewis Hamilton as "close to perfection" after his fellow Briton’s stunning start to the Formula One season.

Lewis on track for  ‘tremendous season’

Following a mini-break, F1 resumes this weekend with the Spanish Grand Prix at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya with Hamilton looking to build on winning three successive races for the first time in his career.

The only blemish on Hamilton’s record was in the opening race in Australia where a mechanical issue forced the 29-year-old into an early retirement in his Mercedes.

Since then he has been unstoppable in his pursuit of a second world title, yet still trails Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg by four points in the championship standings.

Despite that, 1992 world champion Mansell said: “No driver ever wins a world title in a bad team, but what you can do is demonstrate how brilliantly you can win. Lewis has done that this season.”

Mansell said: “He has been close to perfection, just brilliant. He has been given the freedom to express himself.

“When you get a few more wins under your belt, you get even more confidence and that gives you another half a second in your pocket.

“It doesn’t get any better than knowing you have a good car. It’s the most wonderful feeling.”

With Hamilton and Rosberg claiming all four pole positions and wins between them so far in 2014, Mansell already feels the campaign is a two-horse race.

“They are the class acts of the field in 2014. I don’t see them dropping the ball,” added Mansell.

“They’re not going to be unbeatable during the year, but I think it will be very hard to close the gap because of their superior engine performance.

“Lewis and Nico are going to have a tremendous time in 2014.”

Meanwhile Daniel Ricciardo believes drivers should respect team orders during a grand prix unless they are “completely out of order”.

Ricciardo’s Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel has been told in each of the last two races to allow by the Australian, making clear his displeasure in the last grand prix in China.

Vettel replied to the command by stating ‘Tough luck!’, before the 26-year-old finally relented once the circumstances were explained.

Ricciardo said: “We throw up different scenarios and discuss it, discuss it between drivers and between principals and engineers.

“It is our responsibility to obey it, unless it’s completely out of order and then we can obviously try and put up a fight and give our reasons.

“But the team are doing all the calculations on the pit wall during the race and you have to respect what they’re saying.”

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