Lewis Hamilton: 'Bahrain GP will be tough for Mercedes'

New Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton on March 14, 2013
© AP Photos
Lewis Hamilton says that he is expecting a "tough battle" for Mercedes in this weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton has said that he is expecting a "tough battle" for his Mercedes team in Sunday's Bahrain Grand Prix.

The British driver finished 10th-fastest in second practice on Friday, 0.822 seconds off Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen, who set the fastest time.

Hamilton told BBC Sport: "I don't think we are as far off as it looks. I think other people were on different fuel loads.

"It looks like we're 0.6 seconds off the pace. I think it's maybe half that; maybe a bit less. But it will be a tough battle for sure this weekend."

Hamilton finished third in last weekend's Chinese Grand Prix.

Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen walks away after the third free practise session ahead of the Malaysian Grand Prix on March 23, 2013
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TeamPoints
1Mercedes357
2Ferrari318
3Red Bull184
4Force India101
5Williams-Mercedes41
6Toro Rosso39
7Haas29
8Renault26
9McLaren11
10Sauber5
DriversTeamPoints
1Sebastian VettelFerrari202
2Lewis HamiltonMercedes188
3Valtteri BottasMercedes169
4Daniel RicciardoRed Bull117
5Kimi RaikkonenFerrari116
6Max VerstappenRed Bull67
7Sergio PerezForce India56
8Esteban OconForce India45
9Carlos SainzToro Rosso35
10Nico HulkenbergRenault26
11Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes23
12Lance StrollWilliams-Mercedes18
13Romain GrosjeanHaas18
14Kevin MagnussenHaas11
15Fernando AlonsoMcLaren10
16Pascal WehrleinSauber5
17Daniil KvyatToro Rosso4
18Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren1
19Marcus EricssonSauber0
20Jolyon PalmerRenault0
21Antonio GiovinazziSauber0
22Jenson ButtonMcLaren0
23Paul di RestaWilliams-Mercedes0