The 2014 champion Lewis Hamilton expects a more challenging season this year.
Last year, with an excellent hybrid engine, Mercedes dominated throughout the year. And Hamilton, with 11 grand prix wins, successfully clinched his second world title.
However, the Briton now is expecting other teams to step up to the plate.
He said: “The cars are going to be evolutions of last year’s cars, so it’ll be the same people that we were racing with last year; Red Bull, Williams, then you’re hoping that it’s a bit of a better year for those like McLaren and Ferrari so that we have more people to race.
“I like to race man – I really like to race. Particularly with the challenge of other teams, because there’s always strengths and weaknesses of another driver and another team, so I love that. That’s what racing’s about – it’s to be racing with everyone.”
Hamilton also notes that the team who has won last year’s constructor’s champion will still be the most competitive one.
He said: “But the way Formula One is, the way the rules come out and the seasons pan out, each year the best team, with all the cream, will rise to the top and be at the front.”
Nevertheless, Hamilton expressed his thirst for strong challenge.
He said: “But the more people, the merrier. There was one year we had, it was like the first seven races were won by a different driver, a different team, that’s what people want to see but, most importantly, if the cars are close you can have real races where you’re overtaking and battling and that’s what I love doing.”
Speaking to Laureus.com, Hamilton acknowledges that last year was the best in his career.
He said: “Last year was definitely one of the best, if not the best year of my career. It was just an exceptional year, where the team came together, really pulled together, did an amazing job with the car.”
Also, the double world champion hopes that he could have another seven years like last year, though he stresses that he will not stay on the F1 grid if he is not competitive.
Hamilton said: “If I’m lucky enough to be able to get to live out my whole Formula One career – I just turned 30 – then I’ve got a good seven, eight years left in me.
“I’m sure I could go longer but I think there’s only 22 seats in Formula One, 18 of us now, so you’ve got to imagine that there’s going to be kids coming up along the way.
“I don’t plan on hogging my seat, particularly if I’m not competitive in my later years. I’ll definitely stop.”
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