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Hamilton names Alonso as his top rival

Mar 11, 2013, 9:59 AM EST

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Lewis Hamilton says Fernando Alonso is the driver he is most eager to beat in Formula One.

“He’s the guy I want to beat,” Hamilton told the Daily Mail. “You also want to beat Seb [Vettel], as they are the ones with most titles.”

“But Alonso’s the fastest driver I can see. He’s also one of the most experienced. Anyone would struggle to beat him.”

Hamilton said his rivalry with Alonso was more exciting than competing with former McLaren team mate Jenson Button.

“Trying to finish ahead of Alonso, in a Ferrari that is actually really competitive, is a really nice challenge. And I do think the Ferrari is going to be quick this year.”

Hamilton will start his first race as a Mercedes driver in Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix but he isn’t making any predictions on how competitive his new team will be:

“We had a good, reliable car during winter testing so that’s the positive we can take with us into the weekend but we know that in terms of performance, everything begins again from zero in Friday practice.”

“I love the circuit,” he added. “It’s a street track with a really bumpy surface so you try and put as much downforce on the car as possible and it really puts the drivers to the test.”

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