Lewis Hamilton insists that he is putting the disappointment of missing out on the 2010 F1 title firmly behind him to focus on the 2011 campaign, although the Briton admits that the year ahead will be far from straightforward.
Hamilton was speaking after sampling the new McLaren MP4-26 for the first time on the opening day of testing at Jerez, with his first day of running in the car being focused on a series of system checks.
While that meant the Briton wasn't worried about chasing a quick time, Hamilton said he was pleased with his early run in the car.
“You always learn something from these situations and I have to say the car felt good right away - compared to last year's car - so that is already something very positive,” he told the official F1 website. “We got through our programme and that is important. How good the car is compared to the MP4-25 the next days will tell. How the Pirelli tyres work is something we will also discover in the coming days when we will do long runs. All I can say is that it felt good to take out our new racer. It is always a very special moment.”
Hamilton will hope to fight for his second championship title with the car when the season kicks off in Bahrain and he insisted he was fitter than ever going into the new season.
“It was an honour to be fighting and battling with four absolutely world-class drivers for the 2010 title,” he said. “To have taken the fight to the final round for the third time in my four seasons in Formula One was a considerable achievement, and one that I'm proud of. But, as I've always said, I'll keep looking forward. I learn from the good things and the bad things that happen in this sport and I put everything to good use to improve for the future.
“It's 2011, so I'm not looking back at 2010. I'm fitter than ever, I hope we've built another strong car and I'm looking forward to winning more races. With a field as strong as the one we had in 2010, and the drivers I'll be racing in 2011, it's never going to be easy to win consistently, but that's half the fun - sometimes. I'm simply looking forward to another fantastic year.”