Lewis Hamilton believes his driving style developed as a direct result of having watched Ayrton Senna race in his youth.

Ahead of the start of the new season, Hamilton was predicted to have a tough battle on his hands against team-mate Nico Rosberg at Mercedes as his more aggressive driving style may not have suited the new generation of F1 cars. While Hamilton dispelled such doubts by winning the last three grands prix, he admits he feels he has developed a driving style similar to Senna having been a big fan of the triple world champion.

"A lot of the way I drive today is inspired by the way I saw him drive," Hamilton wrote in his column for the BBC.

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"People say I have an aggressive style and sometimes I don't think that is all just me. I think it's partly because I watched Ayrton Senna when I was young and I thought: "This is how I want to drive when I get the opportunity." And I went out there and tried it on the kart track. And my whole approach the racing has developed from there."

And Hamilton also said it was Senna's approach to racing which appealed to him when he was growing up.

"It was the fact that Ayrton Senna was just an out-and-out racer that was most important to me. I can really identify with that. It's exactly how I feel I am. That's why I feel I have had that connection with him since I was a kid.

"I want to race, and I feel like he was one of the only real racers I had seen."