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Providing his equipment is up to it, Fernando Alonso, and to a slightly lesser extent Sebastian Vettel, is the man Lewis Hamilton really wants to beat this season.
Asked if he will be relishing taking on his former McLaren teammate Jenson Button this season, the Mercedes driver shrugged and said: "The rivalry between me and Fernando excites me more. He's the guy I want to beat.
"You also want to beat Seb as they are the ones with most titles," he added. "But Alonso's the fastest driver I can see. He's also one of the most experienced. Anyone would struggle to beat him. Trying to finish ahead of Alonso, in a Ferrari that is actually really competitive, is a really nice challenge. And I do think the Ferrari is going to be quick this year."
After a difficult - to put it mildly - season with the Spaniard at McLaren in 2007, his debut season, the relationship between Hamilton and the Spaniard has improved in recent years, the two now clearly respecting one another. While both have lost out to Vettel in the last couple of seasons, both are respected for their sheer speed and never-say-die attitude.
Five years after his title win, Hamilton is relishing the prospect of adding to his collection. "We all want to be the one," he said. "I was the one for a short period of time. Now it's toppled over to Sebastian. But I want to be at the forefront. People see Michael Schumacher as a god and that's where I want to be."
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