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The former Formula One champion, Niki Lauda, believes Mercedes do not stand a chance of beating Red Bull to this year’s title with half of campaign still to go.
The Mercedes non-executive driver expects the Milton Keynes-based team to ease to both the Constructors’ and Drivers’ championships this season.
Lewis Hamilton closed the gap on Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel last time out at the Hungarian Grand Prix by claiming his first win of the term.
The Brit has only recently made the move to Mercedes after spending his whole career with McLaren and Lauda believes that it will take time for all the pieces to fit together.
Lauda insists that stability is key and Red Bull have been consistent for a number of years, which, teamed up with a quick car, has helped to claim numerous titles.
Hamilton climbed to 124 points with his victory, leaving him 48 behind the German who sits top of the leader board with 225 still to play for.
Vettel’s team also sit top in the Constructors’ championship on 277 points with the Brackley-based team 69 points adrift in second place.
The Austrian pointed to a “better overall package” for the reigning champions and he conceded that even when Red Bull don’t have an aerodynamic advantage they are “still close behind”.
Lauda said: “On paper the opportunities are there but in reality it is very difficult.
“Red Bull are superior and they have a points advantage.”