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Hamilton sets the record straight

NEWS STORY
14/10/2008

Speaking on his own website, Lewis Hamilton has dismissed claims that he is over-confident and arrogant, whilst also taking time to rubbish claims that he has said he is better than his idol, Ayrton Senna.

"I would never say I was better than anyone else," said the McLaren driver. "But I am a Formula 1 driver and all of us have to believe in ourselves to get to where we are.

"You have to have that belief to go out and win: and that's what helps you strive for better performance and to achieve more in your life. I look at the other drivers and I want to beat them. I would never say, 'I'm better than you,' I just think that all these guys are the best and to be the best I have to beat them. That's how every racing driver sees things."

Referring specifically to the Senna story, he said: "I never said that - and I definitely wouldn't say it about Ayrton because he's my favourite driver. I think he's the best driver there ever was and, to this day, I still don't believe anyone would beat him. If I could achieve just a small part of what he's achieved, it would be a dream for me.

"It's not easy to always say or do the right thing," he continued, "and when you're constantly being scrutinised it can be particularly difficult. Recently, there have been lots of different quotes attributed to me. And sometimes I've said things that have either come out the wrong way or been taken out of context so people get a different feeling of what I've said when I haven't expressed myself correctly.

"I'm only human and every now and then people make mistakes. Communication is so important in life and some of the things I've said were not meant to harm anyone. I don't feel like I've hurt anyone. And my family makes sure that doesn't happen."

Looking ahead to the two remaining races, mindful of what happened in 2007, he said: "Last year, Ferrari were very strong in both China and Brazil. But this year I think we have closed the gap to them at circuits where they were always traditionally quick.

But, equally, Ferrari has closed the gap to us on tracks where McLaren was always usually quick. But I'm optimistic about the future: I think we will be quite strong in China this weekend and closer to Ferrari than we were last year. The same goes for Brazil, so these next two races could show the fans some of the closest racing of the season."

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