Slideshow: Lewis having fun ahead of F1 season

PUBLISHED: 16:58 13 March 2008 | UPDATED: 22:26 26 October 2009

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Lewis Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen have fun on the beach ahead of the Australian Grand Prix. Pictures courtesy of www.mclaren.com

LEWIS Hamilton is getting along swimmingly with new McLaren team-mate Heikki Kovalainen. After a troubled relationship with Spaniard Fernando Alonso last year that ended in divorce, harmony has returned to the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes paddock ahead of th

Lewis Hamilton on the beach

LEWIS Hamilton is getting along swimmingly with new McLaren team-mate Heikki Kovalainen.

After a troubled relationship with Spaniard Fernando Alonso last year that ended in divorce, harmony has returned to the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes paddock ahead of the new season.

The 2008 World Championship begins on Sunday with the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne and Hamilton and Finnish driver Kovalainen are getting on famously.

The McLaren duo even trying a spot of kayaking against each other yesterday ahead of the season opener.

Speaking at today's FIA press conference, the 23-year-old from Tewin said: "It was cool. We had some fun.

"Heikki (Kovalainen) got off to a bit of a head start and he looked to be leading the race, but he then took the wrong route.

"The only reason I was turning was someone was turning next to me and helped me turn and somehow I came out in the lead. It was good fun."

The pair have a competitive but friendly rivalry, which bodes well for Sunday's Melbourne race.

On how Kovalainen has fitted in at McLaren, Hamilton said: "He has settled into the team very well and he seems to be enjoying it.

"He has been playing tennis and he has been on the fitness trip recently and we seem to get on really well."

The pair both made their F1 debuts last season, but Hamilton doesn't see their relative inexperience as holding them back.

Last season's World Championship runner-up said: "It's not been a problem and I don't think it will be.

"He has got a great career under his belt already, lots of experience, as have I.

"We are both coming into our second year in F1 and we both have the same hunger for winning and pushing the team forward.

"I think it is quite good that we are both aiming in the same direction."

The proof will come tomorrow when the first practice session for Sunday's race is held around the Albert Park circuit.

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