Lewis ‘fit, relaxed and positive’

Date published: March 10 2015

The 2015 Formula 1 season is upon us and defending World Champion Lewis Hamilton can't wait for the show to get going.

Mercedes dominated the 2014 campaign and it was left to Hamilton and team-mate Nico Rosberg to battle it out for the Drivers' Championship with the former securing the title in the final race of the season.

If pre-season testing is anything to go by, then Merc will start the 2015 campaign as the clear favourites, but Hamilton is expecting a major push from their rivals this year.

"At this point in the year you don't really know what to feel as a driver," the 30-year-old, who is favourite with Paddy Power to win in Melbourne, said. "You're impatient to get back to racing but, at the same time, you never know what a new season will bring.

"Testing gives you a basic idea of whether the car feels good or not but, beyond that, it's anyone's game to win. The team have been working incredibly hard through the winter and it was great to see everyone in the factory before I left for Melbourne.

"I'm so thankful for everything they do and I want to show that in the best way I can out on track. We had a great season last year as a team and, of course, we'd all love to repeat that. But the others won't stop chasing us.

"I'm sure the competition will be close and we should get exciting racing with plenty of battling for position – which is great because that's what I love doing and that's what the fans love watching. There are many good drivers out there and all of them want to win. You just have to want it more than they do. I feel fresh, I feel fit, I feel relaxed, I feel positive… I feel ready."

Rosberg, who is once again playing second fiddle to Hamilton in terms of betting with Paddy Power, is hoping to go one better this year after narrowly missing out in 2014, and he has been pushing himself hard during the off-season to achieve his goals.

"We had a good winter but it's never straightforward. You always have challenges to overcome and there's nothing for certain, so we have to keep pushing," he said.

"Personally, I have focussed on pushing myself even harder for the rematch with Lewis. In the end, it comes down to who can put the best season together overall and I have to make sure it's the other way around this time.

"Having said that, my team mate is just one of many strong competitors who I have to beat if I want to be World Champion, so I'm just focused on being the absolute best I can be.

"I now know the feeling of winning races and I intend to do a lot more of that – but I also know the feeling of not winning in the end and I don't intend to repeat that experience. It's a huge motivation for me and gives me even more determination for 2015."