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Race pace gap to Mercedes not huge – Raikkonen

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Mercedes could have a race on its hands in 2015.

After Melbourne, Christian Horner claimed the advantage now wielded by the silver team is bigger than at any time during Red Bull’s four-year title reign.

Indeed, Lewis Hamilton qualified 1.4 seconds clear of the next-best team in Melbourne, even though he finished just 34 seconds ahead of Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari in the race.

It triggered rumours Mercedes ‘sandbagged’ in the grand prix.

“I can assure you that we did not,” boss Toto Wolff insists to Auto Motor und Sport.

Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen backs that theory. The Finn had a troubled race in Melbourne, but he says he was “fast” last Sunday despite damage to the floor and wing.

“Obviously we are not fast enough yet,” he is quoted by Brazil’s Totalrace, “but I think the difference in the race is much smaller than it is in qualifying.” (GMM)

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