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MP4-25 has Hamilton smiling

NEWS STORY
02/02/2010

After his first day in the car which he hopes will secure him his second title, Lewis Hamilton has admitted that though there's room for improvement the MP4-25 has left him smiling.

The mood in the McLaren camp is notably lighter than last year, when it was clear, even from the earliest stage, that the MP4-24 was a dog. And to prove the point, Hamilton, having completed 108 trouble-free laps, admitted that the new car has him feeling confident.

"I got out smiling," he told reporters. "All the problems I had in the last car, I don't have in this one.

"But," he continued, adding a wise note of caution, "there are still a lot of areas where we can improve."

To the Woking outfit's eternal credit, though the MP4-24 wasn't a good car, the team worked tirelessly in an attempt to turn things around, and though by season end Hamilton was in a position to battle with the Brawns and Red Bulls the poor start to the season had already cost him dearly. Lessons, however, appear to have been learned.

"I've kept a close eye on the development of this car, and the results we got in the end of 2009," he said. "I've seen the car evolve and having had input into it, I was very excited today to see what parts had improved. Hopefully we've got rid of a lot of the bugs we had in the previous car."

Eternal rivals Ferrari have set the pace on both days of the test thus far, with Felipe Massa being the only driver to break the 1:11s barrier. However, Hamilton doesn't appear to be unduly worried, certainly at this stage in proceedings.

"Ferrari seem very quick but we don't know what fuel loads everyone has got," he said. "We're not last which is a nice feeling," he added. "We're not two or three seconds behind. The encouraging thing is the reliability. We've not really had many problems so that's a bonus for us."

Teammate Jenson Button takes over the car tomorrow, the Englishman making his track debut with the Woking team.

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