Lewis Hamilton says he won’t allow his support team to talk about the potential of a sixth Formula 1 world title and will approach the new season like he is hunting his first world championship.

The reigning F1 world champion made history last year by sealing his fifth crown last season to move up to joint-second on the all-time list with Juan Manuel Fangio with only Michael Schumacher’s seven championships ahead of him.

Despite securing four of the past five F1 crowns, with Nico Rosberg splitting his run in 2016, Hamilton has dismissed conversations about a sixth title at the start of this season and wants his entire support team and Mercedes to remain humble.

“For me, it’s not something that I allow my peers to talk about,” Hamilton said. “That’s not what we’re here to focus on, that number. It’s never [something I have] done before.

“We are always driven to do something new and break boundaries and do stuff that no-one has done before.

“But we are fully aware of the work that it will take to deliver something like that, and by no means are we like ‘yeah, we’re going for the sixth’, like it’s a relaxed thing. It’s nothing like that. I’m not focusing on that.”

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Hamilton, who returns to F1 pre-season testing track action this afternoon for Mercedes, is instead using a mental mindset of targeting his first world title with the idea of new challenges in 2019.

“It’s a new season, a new year, a new chapter, and we have to approach it like it’s our first and we’re going for number one,” he said. “That’s how I approach it.

“I love that challenge of each year, coming back in, it’s a new challenge, a new car. It’s like meeting something new.

“You don’t know what he or she is going to be like, you don’t know the good and the bad. The journey that you go on with that partnership with that car, which only a a few of us can take to the limit, is a really privileged position.

“I love getting back in and giving it another shot. Also you put the title out there for anyone else to take. I love that fight.”

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