Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton is not expecting to enjoy immediate success at Mercedes next year.

"Perhaps we will have a good car next year and will keep up, that would be fantastic," the Briton, who is switching to the famous German marque after six years with McLaren, told Germany's Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper.

"But, honestly, I am counting on a season in which we have much to learn," he added.

Hamilton, 27, has celebrated his impending switch - akin to 'moving out of home' according to many insiders - with a few tattoos.

He has a big tattoo on his back, and his latest ones - an angel and Mary and Jesus - are displayed prominently on his right arm.

"I had them done in the last couple of races but they've healed up now, although they're not finished yet," the 2008 world champion is quoted by the Sun.

On the track in India, Hamilton thinks Sebastian Vettel has a clear advantage, after the German appeared to have a big advantage in the opening practice sessions on Friday.

"I hope he had less fuel, because if not, we're in trouble," he is quoted by O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper.

Another win this weekend would be Vettel's fourth on the trot, making him the clear favourite to beat Fernando Alonso to the drivers' title.

"Yes, Seb ... has done a great job and if he does win a third title, then we should congratulate him," Hamilton's teammate Jenson Button said.

"But he has not done it yet. Fernando is still there in the hunt."

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