Lewis Hamilton feels he has been a target to beat since he was 10-years-old winning his first karting title and going into the 2020 Formula 1 world championship nothing has changed for him.

The reigning F1 world champion remains hot favourite to win the 2020 crown and claim his seventh world title to draw equal with all-time leader Michael Schumacher.

Having won five of the last six F1 world drivers’ championships, Hamilton naturally expects to be the one all his rivals most want to beat in the upcoming season, but he also feels it has always been the case since his breakthrough as a youngster during his junior karting days.

“If I was to look at it this way then I’ve had a target on my back since the day I won my first championship when I was 10-years-old. So, it’s nothing new to me,” Hamilton said.

“I was the only black driver there and I’ve always generally been at the front of championships so it’s no different in the last 20 years of driving so I’m quite comfortable in that space.”

Hamilton wants to use this mentality as a strength by knowing if he can frustrate his world title opponents by maintaining his superiority he can hold a physiological edge over the F1 field.

“It’s almost a positive when people are targeting you and looking to try and beat you because you want everyone to bring their A-Game so that if you  do manage to pull it off and finish ahead, it feels even better,” he said.

Hamilton also dismissed the talk around who is fastest during winter testing and feels getting drawn into it shows a mental weakness which could be exploited during the F1 season when it really counts.

“I don’t pay attention to anybody else through testing,” he explained. “We literally just focus on our job and I literally have no idea what other people have been saying.

“Of course I’m aware of people bigging us up and talking themselves down so they can potentially overachieve unexpectedly or whatever, but it doesn’t make any difference.

“People seem to think it’s a psychological battle but it’s really not. Only for the weak-minded maybe, but for us it doesn’t affect us whatsoever.”