Hamilton gearing up for 2008


Hamilton: Happy with car
I know all the circuits and I just feel that the possibilities are even greater than they were last year.



Young Brit adamant this season will be even better than the last

Lewis Hamilton believes McLaren's improvements will make him even more successful this season.

The young Brit, who reinvigorated the sport by finishing second in his rookie season in Formula One, has enjoyed a strong pre-season with McLaren's MP4-23.

And with the 2008 season set to get underway in Australia on Sunday, the 23-year-old is eager to improve on his third-place finish at Melbourne last year.

"I'm feeling very, very optimistic about the 2008 season," Hamilton said on the Vodafone McLaren-Mercedes teamcast. "To come to the first test and see how the car's evolved, and how good it is, gives me a great boost of confidence.

"This'll be a tough season, but I feel that entering into the first Grand Prix I know Australia. I know all the circuits and I just feel that the possibilities are even greater than they were last year."

Team

Hamilton had a highly publicised fallout with team-mate Fernando Alonso in 2007, but the Spaniard moved to Renault in the off-season.

Heikki Kovalainen has come in as Alonso's replacement and the 26-year-old Finn is also being billed as a future world champion.

When asked about his new team-mate, Kovalainen added: "He's already had a much better year than I had in Formula One. He's clearly one of the favourites for the championship.

"For me it's a big challenge to beat him, but that's certainly something that I will do everything I can to be able to do and obviously Lewis will do everything to beat me as well.

"It's a good situation. I believe I can push him throughout the year. He's a great person, a great character, very easy to get on with and I could not imagine a better team-mate to be honest at this point."