Formula 1 World Championship leader Lewis Hamilton has revealed that he is ready and willing to do 'whatever it takes' to clinch the drivers' crown at season's end in 2008, insisting that he is infinitely more focussed on the job in-hand second time around than he was last year.

The McLaren-Mercedes ace led the way for much of the 2007 campaign - his first in the top flight - only to ultimately and agonisingly miss out on the trophy by a sole point at the close, after a string of critical late errors destroyed his title challenge.

Twelve months on, he assures - and with a six-point advantage over Ferrari's Felipe Massa and 13 in his pocket over the Brazilian's defending world championship-winning team-mate Kimi Raikkonen - he is not about to let history repeat itself.

"Last year I wasn't focussed on the championship," the 23-year-old reflected, speaking ahead of this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps, an outing in which he took the chequered flag just fourth in 2007, as McLaren grappled with the shock revelations of the spying scandal that rocked the sport throughout the summer.

"I was so happy to be here. It was all very overwhelming for me - I was living the dream. This year I'm a fully-fledged Formula 1 driver and I am here to win the championship, and whatever that takes.

"That means scoring points and staying out in front, so I have to make sure I finish the remaining six races with as many points as possible."


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