Lewis feeling stronger
Hamilton insisting he is stronger after last year's world title heartbreak
Formula 1 2008 Season
It's still every man for himself. But you know how it is with some people, you ask questions and they give one-word answers, while some people make conversation and are easy to get on with.Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton insists that last year's World Championship heartbreak has made him stronger in his bid to go one better and claim the title this time around.
Hamilton could not have driven in a more eventful rookie season in Formula One, enduring a rollercoaster of emotions that came so close to ending with a fairytale world title.
The 21-year-old became the first black driver in Formula One, and also had to contend with the in-fighting with team-mate Fernando Alonso as the young rookie outperformed the reigning world champion.
Then came the infamous spying saga involving Hamilton's team McLaren, and all this was going on as he exploded onto the scene winning Grand Prixs almost with ease at times.
Ultimately, however, it ended in failure he lost a 12-point lead during the final two races of the season to agonisingly lose out to Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen by just a single point.
Despite the gut-wrenching nature of his World Championship dreams going up in smoke, Hamilton insists the experience will only make him stronger for 2008.
"With the experience of last year I do feel stronger than I did," said Hamilton.
"As a driver I feel I developed so much in one season that I know I'll be a lot stronger this year than I was last year.
"I feel my relationship with the team is better than ever because in any situation, when you go through an experience with a group of people, it definitely does pull your strings and build tension.
"But at the end of it the relationship does grow, and as they have known me for many years, they know I would do anything for the team.
"With fewer political problems, then maybe I will enjoy the coming season a lot more."
With Alonso now gone, and Heikki Kovalainen now in as Hamilton's team-mate at McLaren there should be a bit more harmony in the camp.
Hamilton says there will still be some aggressive competition, but knows there will be a better relationship with his new team-mate.
"It's still every man for himself," Hamilton added.
"But you know how it is with some people, you ask questions and they give one-word answers, while some people make conversation and are easy to get on with.
"With Heikki, I don't need to make conversation. He is happy to start, and he can talk for ages, while he has similar views to me.
"That just makes everything a little bit simpler."
Hamilton insists that although he will face fierce rivalry he will now have with Alonso's Renault, there are several other challengers to watch out for.
"I hope what happened last year makes him more determined - I know it makes me more determined to beat him," insisted Hamilton.
"But then it's not just him, but all the drivers because at the end of the season Kimi (Raikkonen) beat me for the title.
"So that makes me more determined to beat him this year, and I know where his strengths are now.
"Over a year you get to understand what type of person they are and whether you are safe around them on the track or not, and where you can beat them, be it mentally or wherever.
"I know I just feel more determined this year, and I know what I want."