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Lewis: 'I want to win every race'

2012-02-02 08:32

THE BOYS ARE BACK: McLaren-Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton (left) and Jenson Button chat at the launch of their 2012 F1 race cars.


LONDON, England - Lewis Hamilton might have been his own worst enemy at times in 2011 but the McLaren driver has now assured the world that he will start the 2012 F1 season very much at ease with himself again.

He was speaking at the launch event for the McLaren MP4-27 at the Woking, England, factory.

After smiling and greeting reporters with a firm gaze and familiar iron handshake the 2008 World champion explained that he had spent his (northern) winter break sorting out his mind and finding his way to a happier place.


"I think it was just a fantastic winter where I got to spend time with friends and family and really was able to wind down," the 27-year-old who complained in 2011 about feeling burnt out, said. "I let loose for the first week where I did a bit of skiing and then I ate pancakes and all that stuff that I said I wasn't going to do.

"I then got into quite an intense training regime and sat down in between times where I analysed the year and certain things in my personal life which weren't as good as they could be and went about correcting those things. Today I feel very fresh in my mind and very free of perhaps any of the burdens that I had on me in 2011."

Hamilton's 2011 season was punctuated by crashes and collisions, mostly with Ferrari's Felipe Massa, and his on/off/on again relationship with American pop singer Nicole Scherzinger. Now, he says, he is fully focused on being a GP driver.

McLAREN READY TO RACE: McLaren-Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton (left) and Jenson Button with one of the McLaren MP4-27 cars they will drive through the 2012 season. IMAGE: AFP/Vodaphone McLaren-Mercedes..

"I've decided to focus on the most important thing - that's racing," he said. "Of course I accept that my personal life is in the public domain but I'd rather just focus on racing. Things are good. So I'm happy."

Hamilton won three races in 2011 but was beaten by fellow McLaren driver Jenson Button, the first team mate to finish a season ahead of him overall. Despite that, bookmakers have already established Hamilton as 5/1 joint second favourite for the 2012 Drivers' title alongside Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, behind Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel, but ahead of Button on 7/1.

"I want to win every race. I think I can," he said of the season that will start in Melbourne on March 18. "I think I've got the ability to. I think if the car is where we hope the car is, there's no reason why we can't do that.

Hamilton's McLaren contract will expire at the end of the 2012 season but he wants to clear that up as soon as possible to calm paddock speculation.

"That's going to be a big topic," he recognised. "At the moment the focus is on preparation for the season. We'll probably want to get it out of the way after the first couple of races so you guys won't be having to ask questions about it."


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