The McLaren driver finished third in the season-opening race in Melbourne behind team-mate Jenson Button and defending double world champion Sebastian Vettel.
Hamilton had dominated qualifying and took pole for the Australian Grand Prix – and the 27-year-old says the early signs are positive ahead of the second race of the season at the Sepang International Circuit.
“I know this is a car I can definitely challenge for the title with,” Hamilton told the Press Association. “As for me, I definitely do feel as though I’ve got it in myself to go for the title.”
“I feel as ready as ever. I was ready on Sunday, it’s just that some things didn’t go my way. But we appear to be the team to beat, which is a good sign. The team have been working hard for that.
“It’s definitely the position to be in, and we’re strong which is also a good place to be. But we can’t get too carried away. It’s too early to tell. In qualifying we were massively quick and competitive, but then Red Bull were massively quick in the race.
“They are still a force to be reckoned with. I guess we’re just an edge ahead, but we can’t get too complacent.”
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