London: Mercedes`` ace Lewis Hamilton has said he is not a Formula One title contender this season despite topping the time sheets on final day of the rain-hit Barcelona test.
The 28-year-old took advantage of a dry spell to fire in a 1m 23.282s lap to stand nearly four-tenths ahead of next fastest, former McLaren teammate Jenson Button, the Daily Mirror reports.
Hamilton was quick to play down claims from perennial rivals Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso that his lap times meant he would be a title contender when the action starts in earnest in Melbourne in less than a month.
Asked about his chances of victory the 2008 champion said this doesn``t mean it is impossible, but he thinks people are talking them up at the moment, adding Vettel and maybe Fernando were saying he may be going to be competing for the world championship, but added that he really doesn``t see that happening at the moment.
Hamilton added of course that``s there goal but you``ve got to remember the car was over a second off, sometimes two seconds off, last year and they not caught a second up, adding other teams will have put a second on over the winter, therefore they haven``t not gained three seconds, and that is a fact.
Hamilton said hopefully by the end of the year they would, as that is there goal, but definitely not at the beginning. Hamilton said Mercedes`` current position was tucked in behind Red Bull, McLaren, Ferrari and Lotus.
First Published: Saturday, February 23, 2013, 18:36