Hamilton feels less pressure

PUBLISHED: 17:22 13 March 2008 | UPDATED: 21:42 26 October 2009

McLaren drivers Heikki Kovalainen and Lewis Hamilton relax before Sunday's opening race Pictures courtesy of www.mclaren.com

McLaren drivers Heikki Kovalainen and Lewis Hamilton relax before Sunday's opening race Pictures courtesy of www.mclaren.com

HERTS race ace Lewis Hamilton is feeling relaxed ahead of the 2008 Formula One campaign. The FIA World Championship opens on Sunday with the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne. Despite finishing runner-up in last season s competition, Hamilton says there

Lewis Hamilton's punishing fitness regime ahead of the F1 season

HERTS race ace Lewis Hamilton is feeling relaxed ahead of the 2008 Formula One campaign.

The FIA World Championship opens on Sunday with the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.

Despite finishing runner-up in last season's competition, Hamilton says there was more pressure on him this time last year than there is today.

Then the McLaren star was an unheard of rookie with lots to prove.

Hamilton said: "I don't think there is more pressure, I think there is less pressure than last year.

"Last year there was a huge build-up and just a lot of weight hanging on my shoulders really because no-one really knew if I was going to do well or what. And neither did I really.

"It is a slightly different feeling. I think I know even more now knowing what a season feels like.

"I am even hungrier and I feel even more determined and just more excited about racing."

Hamilton is desperate to get back behind the wheel in the competitive arena.

He said: "It has been too long a break. It really has seemed to drag along, even though the race is a little bit earlier.

"It just seems forever since we raced last."

The 23-year-old from Herts also feels his preparation has been better than in 2007.

Hamilton said: "Last year I and my trainer were both rookies and we did the best job we could, which was good, but there were areas we could improve on and we have done."

Qualifying for Sunday's opening race takes place in the early hours of Saturday morning British time.

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