“Yet I'm not looking to get one over McLaren. I know that I have gone to a team who have been unable to compete with the car I had last year - at some races, there was a deficit in qualifying of 1.9sec from Mercedes to McLaren - but we all have a hunger to change.
“I think Mercedes will impress this year.”
Pressed on how important it is for him to beat his old team and his old team-mate, Jenson Button this season, Hamilton insisted that is not his focus.
“That doesn't really excite me. The rivalry between me and Fernando excites me more [than with Jenson]. Alonso's the guy I want to beat. You also want to beat Seb, as they are the ones with most titles.
“But Alonso's the fastest driver I can see. He's also one of the most experienced. Anyone would struggle to beat him.
“Trying to finish ahead of Alonso, in a Ferrari that is actually really competitive, is a really nice challenge. And I do think the Ferrari is going to be quick this year,” Hamilton concluded.