Yet ahead of tomorrow’s Turkish Grand Prix, Brit Hamilton is convinced he and his team have what it takes to overhaul the early leaders.
He said: “At some stage I’m sure it will improve because the car feels the best car to drive. It’s just that there are so many completely competitive cars out there who have done that bit better than us.
“But we have got 13 races to go and we are looking strong. We know where we need to go.
“Last year, we were almost three seconds behind and we caught up.
“We are not anywhere near that far behind, just half a second, so we can catch up.
“This weekend I am hoping we are going to be closer. The long straights should be good for us but we have to wait and see. We will take the fight to them.
“There’s always a realistic chance of winning.
“In terms of pure pace we are not on the same pace of the Red Bulls and maybe Ferrari will make a step forward this weekend.
“I think we are going to be competitive. When it comes to qualifying there is no outdoing the Red Bulls at this moment.
“But nothing is impossible. I feel very optimistic and am looking forward to getting out there. I’ve always been quick here.”
Hamilton lies seventh in the drivers’ championship – 19 points behind Webber and Vettel, who have 78. He was fourth fastest in opening practice yesterday as team-mate Jenson Button set the pace from the Red Bulls.
Hamilton, 25, hopes his nifty moves can see him sweep to victory – after being inspired by his popstar girlfriend.
He jetted to Los Angeles to see Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger win the American version of Strictly Come Dancing a few days ago.
He admitted: “Watching Dancing With The Stars was incredible. I got to see the last two shows.
“I had to leave before the last dance to get to here but Nicole was phenomenal.
“It was completely out of my world and what I do, but to see her in her element was fantastic.
“I am extremely proud. It was an incredible achievement but, after seeing her do the tango, I can never go dancing with her again.
“Nicole is coming this weekend for the first time this season, which is great.”
Hamilton needs a win in Istanbul tomorrow to stop him equalling his worst-ever run in F1 of 10 races without a win.
That goes back to the start of last season when he was handed a dud of a car by McLaren – but he still turned it into a winner.
He added: “With all the different things that have happened, it’s been a bit of a lottery for me.”