Formula One champion and Australian Grand Prix winner Lewis Hamilton has responded to calls for changes to tackle Mercedes' dominance by saying other teams have the potential to do better, so he still has a fight on his hands.
Hamilton's world championship defence got off to a flying start on Sunday with a crushing victory for Mercedes in the season-opening Melbourne race as F1 rivals succumbed to a farcical rash of reliability problems.
Pole-sitter Hamilton started from a grid reduced to 15 cars from a possible 20 and cruised to his 34th race win with a 1.3-second gap to runner-up team mate Nico Rosberg.
By the time fans were heading out of Albert Park, Red Bull consultant Helmut Marko was discussing the possibility of billionaire owner Dietrich Mateschitz falling out of love with the sport and leaving.
Appearing on an afternoon TV show in Sydney on 17 March, Hamilton agreed that Mercedes' dominance had caused controversy and responded to suggestions of a possible Red Bull withdrawal by saying all the other teams could do better.
"I think, it's very, very interesting to hear that when I, I mean I read it - they dominated for four years, big time. They've not had a good couple of years - they didn't do so bad last year.
"But you know, you've seen a real big improvement from Ferrari, they've actually overtaken Red Bull and Williams have made a really big step and I think you're going to have to watch them really closely this year, you know.
"There's a lot of potential, particularly in the rules for them to make big steps and close the gap. So we still have a fight on our hands," said Hamilton.
There have been suggestions that F1 is too technical and complicated. But Hamilton did not agree.
"It's not for us...So you've got to hire some better people I guess. You know ultimately it's a test and a challenge of evolution, of innovation and we've hired great people to - and we've done a great job and we weren't complaining when they were doing." it so..."
Asked if criticism was just 'sour grapes', the British champion said: "I'm not going to get into the political side of things, I just drive.
"I'm really, as I said, I'm really grateful for, for what Mercedes have done as a team, you know there's over 1,000 people in our team who've done an amazing job, you know and the car's fantastic - best car I've ever driven, so happy with it and I want to really grab the opportunity with both hands and do the best job I can."
Hamilton said F1 competition would improve through the season and he wanted more teams, not less.
"Well I mean look, just look at the last grand prix, we only had 11 cars finish the race. But that's normal in - not normal, but it can be expected in the first, start of the season where cars haven't had a lot of time to practise and iron out the creases. So it will all improve through the year. But we want more teams, not less teams."
Asked if Mercedes' domination of Sunday's race was boring, Hamilton replied: "Definitely wasn't for me!"