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Formula 1

Horner sees Hamilton as a threat: He can still win this race

Red Bull's Christian Horner has no doubt that Lewis Hamilton is still a contender for victory in Brazil.

Red Bull's Christian Horner isn't ruling out the prospect of Lewis Hamilton challenging for victory in Sunday's Sao Paulo Grand Prix, despite the reigning World Champion starting the race from 10th on the grid.

Hamilton started the Sprint Qualifying race from 20th and last, after being disqualified from Friday qualifying due to a rear wing infraction, but recovered strongly over the 24-lap race to finish in fifth position.

Due to a separate grid penalty for an engine change ahead of the weekend, he starts Sunday's race from 10th. But given the speed he showed in the Sprint, Horner said he's still a huge threat for the win.

"On Lewis' pace that he had [on Saturday], he can win this race," Horner told Sky Sports.

"It's very hard to defend against him with that kind of pace. We've got to get our head down, do the best job we can, and go from there. We can only control what we do, so we're gonna go for it, and we're on the front row.

"Degradation is going to be a big factor. You can never rule him out, particularly here [Interlagos]. If it was a street track, it'd be much harder, but here, anything's possible.

"We've got to make sure that we focus on ourselves and convert the opportunities that we've got."

Rear wings the centre of attention

With both Red Bull and Mercedes attracting the attention of the stewards over rear wing issues this weekend, Horner said that the battle between the two teams has both right on the limits of their engineering prowess.

"If we weren't pushing, we won't be doing our job," added Horner.

"It's a competition, you've got to push in every area and we get it back, with interest, the other way.

"It shows Mercedes are on the limit, they're being pushed this year. And that's great, we're enjoying it. It's hard to get into this position, but we can only control what we do. We can't control what others do.

"That's why it's very important that we just focus very much on ourselves."

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