Date:Monday March 21 2011
Probably not ground breaking news but 2008 Formula One World champion Lewis Hamilton has stated his intent to win more World championships during his career.
Hamilton nearly won the 2007 title in his rookie year only to lose the title in the final race, during his second season in Formula One he did manage to clinch the crown, in the most dramatic end to any Formula One season, clinching fifth place required to win the title on the final turn, of the final lap of the race.
However the final two seasons have been frustrating for Hamilton and McLaren, in 2009 the car simply wasnít competitive enough during the early stages of the season and now team mate Jenson Button dominated for Brawn GP.
Last season a late recovery gave Hamilton an outside chance of the title, but the favourites were always Red Bull and Ferrari.
This season, if testing is anything to go by, McLaren will be playing catch up again, but despite the knock backs over the past couple of years, Hamilton has not been deterred from his long term ambition to win more drivers titles.
'I am not here to race 10 years and only win one or two world championships,' Hamilton told the Observer Newspaper .
'I want to be one of the most successful F1 drivers of this generation so I do want to win more world championships and I think you have to continue winning and prove yourself time after time for people to really know that you are the best.
'I can't say right now that people can say he was clearly the best in the world. I have only been here for four years so I have got a lot more to do.'
So what are the chances that McLaren can turn it around in time to give Lewis Hamilton a crack at the 2011 World championship?
As previously mentioned McLaren suffered reliability issues and a lack of pace during short stints in testing in Barcelona.
Apart from Hispania who didnít run their new car at all in winter testing, the 2011 McLaren has ran the least amount of miles of all the cars which will take to the grid in Australia, giving the team a massive disadvantage going into the opening race of the season in Melbourne.
'Do I think our testing pace is representative of the pace we'll show in Australia? No,' .' McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh told the BBC .
'We never give up: we're fighters - that's the spirit that has won us 20 world championships in the past and which makes us a team you can never underestimate.'
So who will start the season as they mean to go on? Will Formula One's youngest World Champion Sebastian Vettel get his title defence under way in style? Will Ferrari's Fernando Alonso be ready to fight as soon as the lights go out?
Or will McLaren's British dream team laugh in the face of recent tests and brush aside the competition?
Our front page poll asks exactly that question: Who will win the Australian Grand Prix?
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We will be running a prediction vote ahead of every race this season, so it will be interesting to see just how accurate (or not) our predictions are!
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Date:Monday March 21 2011
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