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Ferrari have to start delivering, says Hamilton

The sport’s oldest, most successful and glamorous team flattered to deceive again in Sunday’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix, while Mercedes celebrated their fourth successive one-two finish.

FILE: Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton (C) celebrates on the podium after winning the Formula One Bahrain Grand Prix. Picture: AFP

LONDON - Ferrari need to get their act together, and fast, to prevent the Formula One championship becoming even more of a private Mercedes battle than it already looks.

The sport’s oldest, most successful and glamorous team flattered to deceive again in Sunday’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix, while Mercedes celebrated their fourth successive one-two finish.

No season has ever started with such a run.

“We thought it would be a lot closer... but we are delivering on a very, very high percentage,” said five-times world champion Lewis Hamilton, who finished second to Finnish teammate Valtteri Bottas.

“Both Valtteri and I are both delivering on the laps and the team are pumping on all cylinders and they (Ferrari) are not,” he added.

“When, if, they start pumping on all cylinders and start delivering, then we’ll have much more of a fight.”

Ferrari are 74 points adrift of Mercedes in the constructors’ standings while Sebastian Vettel, third in the championship, is 35 behind Bottas.

Up until the second phase of Saturday qualifying, it seemed Ferrari were on it. Charles Leclerc led every practice session and seemed destined for his second pole position in four races.

And then, switching from soft to medium tyres, the Monegasque hit the wall and it all went wrong.

Bottas seized pole instead and led Hamilton to the flag in a race short on drama, with Vettel third and Leclerc fifth, taking the fastest lap as a consolation.

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