YEONGAM, South Korea, Oct 03, 2013 (AFP) - Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton said Thursday he was going after the Ferrari duo of Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa at this weekend's Korean Grand Prix.
The Briton's first season at Mercedes since joining from McLaren has tailed off recently, the former world champion finishing fifth in Singapore two weeks ago and ninth in Italy before that.
But he is still third in the world championship, behind runaway leader Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull and Alonso, and eager to get back on the podium
"I'm actually really surprised this year that the car is good everywhere," he told a press conference, alongside Massa.
"It's been a real blessing and I anticipate it should be strong again this week.
"Whether or not we can keep up with the Red Bulls, we'll see, but my target really is to get these guys in the red."
Hamilton, the 2008 world champion, added: "The last couple of races haven't been so good for me but before that I've grown with my understanding of the car.
"Growing an understanding of how to really extract the most from it, working better each time as we're growing as a team in terms of how we communicate."
As for Vettel's RB9 and the recent speculation about its "hidden solution" that provides quicker reaction compared to the rest of the grid, specially at the start.
"I think in the race on the restart everyone’s pushing flat out so there should be no reason why they should be able to pull away that much quicker.
"If you look at their on-boards, he’s on the power, full throttle at least twenty meters before everyone else which is a huge advantage." Hamilton said.
"There’s nothing we can really do, we’re always asking for rear downforce, always want to be able to get on the power sooner.
"But the last time I was able to put the pedal down that quick was what, 2007, 2008? 2007 when we had traction control, so it’s a lot different." He concluded during today's driver's press conference at Korea.