Lewis Hamilton has revealed that his ultimate dream in Formula 1 would be to emulate the late, great Ayrton Senna's feat of claiming three drivers' world championship crowns - even if the forthcoming campaign does not presently look much like delivering him his second.

The new McLaren-Mercedes MP4-24 has struggled throughout pre-season testing in terms of its 2009-spec aerodynamic package and rear wing, frequently languishing well down the timing screens - and occasionally the slowest of all.

That has seen team principal Martin Whitmarsh and Mercedes-Benz Motorsport Vice-President Norbert Haug all-but write off the Woking-based outfit's chances of glory in the curtain-raising Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne this weekend [see separate story - click here] - scene of McLaren-Mercedes' first victory together as a partnership back in 1997, and a race Hamilton dominated this time twelve months ago, en route to his maiden title in the top flight at only his second attempt.

Nonetheless, the 24-year-old remains confident that sooner or later his team will get it right - and he will be able to go on to fulfil his bold childhood ambition.

"People say, 'do you want to do what Michael Schumacher's done?'" the nine-time grand prix-winner revealed in an interview with the Sunday Mirror, "but I've always said since I was a kid that I would love to be an F1 driver, then be a world champion and then to do what Ayrton did, which is to win three world championships.

"I look at Alain Prost and Sir Jackie Stewart. They are multiple world champions, and one day I would like to have my name in that group. It would be very cool."

The Stevenage-born ace also responded to accusations that he can sometimes appear 'arrogant', insisting: "I never want to hear that kind of thing. Everyone makes mistakes and for sure there is maybe a point where I have come across as being arrogant, so I will have to correct that."

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