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Hamilton welcomes Ferrari’s pace, and competition

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Mercedes principal Toto Wolff and drivers Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton have unveiled their 2018 Formula One car

MONTMELO, Spain, Mar 9- Rather than be wary of it, Lewis Hamilton has welcomed Sebastian Vettel’s record-breaking lap time in testing as he hopes it means Mercedes will have a “race on our hands.”

Vettel posted a new lap record at the Circuit de Catalunya on Thursday, crossing the line with a 1:17.182.

That was almost a second quicker than the previous lap record which had been set by his former team-mate Daniel Ricciardo just 24 hours earlier.

Hamilton has welcomed the competition.

“I hope it is a good time because it means they are strong and we have a race on our hands,” he told Sky Sports.

“I can’t wait for the first race to see where we all come out. We want people to be on the edge of their seats.”

The Brit, though, went on to say that Mercedes had yet to really try for a qualifying style run with his best time in testing, a 1.18.400, putting him P5 on the overall timesheet.

That was set on the ultrasoft tyres.

“We haven’t been on low fuel yet so l have no idea where the car can go yet,” he added.

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