F1 2015: Lewis Hamilton fired up for world title defence

PUBLISHED: 16:13 01 February 2015 | UPDATED: 16:14 01 February 2015

F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton with the Mercedes F1 W06 Hybrid

F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton with the Mercedes F1 W06 Hybrid

Mercedes-Benz

Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton is relishing the challenge of defending his title during the forthcoming 2015 season.

The 30-year-old Mercedes driver from Hertfordshire says “the fire is still there in me” ahead of the new campaign, which begins with the 2015 Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne next month.

After claiming his second world drivers’ crown in dramatic fashion late last year, Hamilton is hungry for more success in 2015.

Rather than resting on his laurels, his appetite for the sport is as strong as ever.

Hamilton said: “You hear about people who achieve a lot but then lose their focus and you wonder; at what point does it fade off?

“I’m grateful that the fire is still there in me.

“I think subconsciously the taste of success spurs me on – I like that feeling and I want to feel it again and again.”

The Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One team officially unveiled its 2015 challenger, the F1 W06 Hybrid, today (Sunday), ahead of the first day of pre-season testing at the Circuito de Jerez in Spain.

For the second consecutive season, the Silver Arrows will be the only front-running team on the grid to field an unchanged driver line-up.

Nico Rosberg takes a selfie with F1 world champion Lewis HamiltonNico Rosberg takes a selfie with F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton

After a titanic battle between the pair throughout the 2014 season, both Stevenage-born F1 racer Hamilton and team-mate Rosberg have been hard at work in preparation for the season ahead.

Hamilton said: “I’m not going to sit here and say I don’t feel like I’ve won two World Championships – but I’m a racer.

“I’m glad me and Nico [Rosberg] had the battle we did last year.

“I love winning races but it just feels so much better when you have to fight for it.

Mercedes F1 W06 Hybrid Technical Specification

* Dimensions:

Overall Length: 5000mm.

Overall Width: 1800mm.

Overall Height: 950mm.

Overall Weight: 702kg.

* Monocoque: Moulded carbon fibre and honeycomb composite structure.

* Bodywork: Carbon fibre composite including engine cover, sidepods, floor, nose, front wing and rear wing.

* Cockpit: Removable driver’s seat made of anatomically formed carbon composite, Sabelt six-point driver safety harness, HANS system.

* Safety Structures: Cockpit survival cell incorporating impact resistant construction and penetration panels, front impact structure, prescribed side impact structures, integrated rear impact structure, front and rear roll structures.

* Front Suspension: Carbon fibre wishbone and pushrod activated torsion springs and rockers.

Rear Suspension: Carbon fibre wishbone and pullrod activated torsion springs and rockers.

* Wheels: Advanti forged magnesium.

* Tyres: Pirelli.

* Brake System: Carbon / carbon discs and pads with rear brake-by-wire.

* Brake Calipers: Brembo.

* Steering: Power assisted rack and pinion.

* Steering Wheel: Carbon-fibre construction.

* Electronics: FIA standard ECU and FIA homologated electronic and electrical system.

* Instrumentation: McLaren Electronic Systems (MES).

* Fuel System: ATL Kevlar-reinforced rubber bladder.

* Lubricants & Fluids: PETRONAS Tutela.

* Gearbox: Eight-speed forward, one reverse unit with carbon fibre maincase.

* Gear Selection: Sequential, semi-automatic, hydraulic activation.

* Clutch: Carbon plate.

“I just want to get back out there, race hard, be the best I can be and hopefully win some more.

“But just because you’ve had success before, it’s never easy to just carry it on.”

Following his victory in Abu Dhabi, Hamilton has been working hard to prepare for his title defence, although he did enjoy a skiing holiday with family and friends.

“The winter break was a good chance to relax,” said Hamilton.

“I was working right up until mid-December and had been in the factory earlier that day but then had a couple of weeks away skiing before getting straight back into training after Christmas.

“It’s never great to get back into that routine but it has to be done and my motivation was not lacking in any way, which is a really positive sign.”

Following Mercedes’ dominant form throughout the 2014 season, Hamilton added: “We’ve probably made it harder for ourselves with the way things went last year – it isn’t easy to improve on something that was already so strong when the rules haven’t really changed.

“But we know there are areas we can improve and I know everyone wants to come back even stronger.

“I’ve seen the guys at the factory pushing like crazy to put everything together, so it just goes to show that you can’t ever really be comfortable.

“Hopefully we’re on the right path. It’s not until the end of the last test that you start to get a feel for where the car might be – and even then you don’t know for sure.

“You can never rule anybody out and we’ll be keeping an eye on the others as always.

“Unfortunately for them, we have an amazing team and it will be tough to match the work these guys do – but not impossible.

“We have to take things one step at a time and hope that at the end of those 20 big steps in the season we’re ahead.”

Rosberg took the wheel of the Mercedes F1 W06 Hybrid for day one of the first winter test in Jerez, completing more than 150 laps, while Sebastian Vettel went quickest for Ferrari.

Last season’s championship runner-up Rosberg said: “It’s been a great winter, although it has actually seemed very long to me.

“The lucky thing about this sport as a driver is that you get a lot of down time between each season to rest, recharge, spend time with the family and really hit the training hard.

“But now I am eager to get back to work and go maximum attack for another season.

“I know the feeling of winning and of fighting for a championship after last year – but I also know the feeling of not winning in the end and I don’t want to repeat that.

“It’s an extra boost and it gives me so much motivation for the year ahead.”

Nico added: “I’m so proud to be in this moment with the team – coming off the back of a fantastic year, putting the Silver Arrows right back at the front where they belong.

“It will be massively tough to repeat what we achieved in 2014 but we all want to keep that momentum going and to dominate the sport for many years to come.

“We know the opposition will be right there, so we have to keep pushing flat out to have any chance of doing that.”

Throwing down the gauntlet to his Mercedes colleague, Rosberg added: “Nothing is for certain but, whatever happens, I know it will be another great battle with Lewis.

“This year is the rematch for me and I’m massively motivated for it.”

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