Mark Blundell believes that McLaren-Mercedes number one driver Lewis Hamilton will be better and stronger than ever this year now that he has won the F1 World Championship.

Hamilton, who only made his debut at the pinnacle of the sport in 2007, will be the man to beat in '09, and he is definitely going to be one of the favourites to take the drivers' title.

"He will be stronger as a person and stronger as a driver," Mark told Crash.net Radio in his exclusive 2009 F1 season preview. "He is coming in with a big title sitting above his name and everybody knows who Lewis Hamilton is in the world.

"But it will all depend on what he is driving, and if McLaren-Mercedes deliver a grand prix winning car. If they do then Lewis will make sure he extracts everything he can from it and he could win the title again.

"It will however be tough. It is never easy to put everything in place and next year will be interesting. There are lots of changes and sometimes they create excitement, sometimes they create problems and sometimes it creates situations other people can take opportunities from. We will have to wait and see. But Hamilton is definitely going to be the main man."

Asked how crucial it was for Lewis to take the title last season, after just missing out in 2007, Mark added that it was vital.

"It was incredibly important for him to be in a position again to fight for the world championship and fortunately McLaren gave him a great car to do that. But the important factor is he made it count and that was a year on from all the trials and tribulations of 2007," Mark continued.

"He has learnt a great deal and he made the most of that. Some of the races he won were outstanding - Silverstone and Monaco for example. To be in only his second year and be the youngest to ever win the world championship is very special.

"He is still learning and everybody should be aware of that. There is a lot more to come from him and that is scary..."

TO HEAR MARK BLUNDELL'S 2009 F1 SEASON PREVIEW IN FULL - CLICK HERE.

TO HEAR PART 2 OF MARK BLUNDELL'S 2008 F1 SEASON REVIEW IN FULL - CLICK HERE.

TO HEAR PART 1 OF MARK BLUNDELL'S 2008 F1 SEASON REVIEW IN FULL - CLICK HERE

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