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Hamilton excited by new car

NEWS STORY
16/01/2009

Sitting beside the car with which he will defend his title, Lewis Hamilton admitted to being excited by the prospect of the year ahead, especially in view of the raft of new rules.

"It looks very elegant, it is quite a bit different and great to see the slick tyres," said the Englishman.

Referring to the rulers changes, which include the introduction of KERS, he said: "It's going to be interesting. When you change the rules so aggressively, it's going to be tough to stay dominant. But everyone has been working flat out to make sure this car is the best, we're learning every day with the car in the wind tunnel and developing new components for it."

As for who he thinks will be fighting him for the title, having beaten Felipe Massa by one point in 2008, he continued: "It's going to be close, but I don't know whether it will be me and him or Kimi. We have to wait and see."

Having won the title, the monkey is off his back, so to speak, but his fans, and the British media, will no doubt want more success, having been starved of it for so long. However, the youngster refuses to be fazed by the pressure.

"I'm feeling more relaxed going into the season," he insisted. "I've come off a great season and it's like when you go from race to race. If you've won a race, in the next one you have that little bit extra confidence.

"I feel like I've reset my goals," he continued, "I've reset my targets back to where I started out in Formula One. I don't sit here and say I am world champion. I say I want to be world champion."

However, Hamilton, who was awarded the MBE earlier this month, admitted that there is one possible element to F1 he is not impressed by, the possible introduction of a rule whereby the title goes to the driver with the most wins. The proposal, the brainchild of Bernie Ecclestone, would have seen Massa take the 2008 crown had it been in force at the time.

"We work hard as a team to win and be consistent and being consistent, whether you finish first or third, it's got to be the driver and team that's done the best job over the whole year and not just who's won the most races," he said.

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