Sir Jackie Stewart tips Lewis Hamilton for Formula 1 title

New Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton on March 14, 2013
© AP Photos
Sir Jackie Stewart says that Lewis Hamilton can challenge for the Formula 1 world title this season.

Formula 1 legend Sir Jackie Stewart has no doubts that Lewis Hamilton can win the drivers' world championship this season.

The Brit has enjoyed a strong start to the campaign, following up a fifth-placed finish in the Australian Grand Prix by coming third in Malaysia a week later.

Hamilton's and Mercedes's chances of success were written off during the winter break, but the former three-time world champion believes that both can race to title victories this year.

"Yes, they can win races. Lewis will drive the living daylights out of whatever car he's got," Stewart told BBC Sport. "They can challenge for the title but they will need to keep up with Red Bull and Ferrari in terms of development.

"If the Red Bull is as good as it can be, that's your main opposition while Ferrari are already more competitive at the start of the season than they were last year.

"The Lotus is very competitive, too, and McLaren will fight back, but [Mercedes team principal] Ross Brawn is an extraordinarily talented man. Mercedes exist to win and they have the resources to do so."

Hamilton joined the Silver Arrows this year after spending six seasons with McLaren.

Lewis Hamilton is happy after winning the US Grand Prix on November 18, 2012
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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
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