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Lewis Hamilton: I want to emulate Michael Schumacher at Ferrari

The aim is clear. It is not enough to be regarded as a good driver. Lewis Hamilton wants to be a great driver, Michael Schumacher great, in fact. That is the challenge Hamilton has set himself at Mercedes, where he was unveiled before the Brackley staff for the first time. Hamilton insisted there had been not a moment’s regret since he declined a deal to stay at McLaren, a team with a proven winning pedigree. In six seasons at Woking Hamilton won 21 races, most of those in his first two years, during which he lost and won the world championship by a point. There is little of the Formula One experience that he has not tasted, save for the opportunity to shape a team. At McLaren he developed in a culture created by Ron Dennis. The move to Mercedes is in every sense a reaction to that stifling immersion.”I just want to try something different. I’m not scared to try new things. I really wanted a different experience. Michael went to Ferrari as champion, which was more positive. I like to think I could do something similar. He did it with a great group of people. I definitely feel I have joined a team with great people around me.”Part of this move is about achieving that next step. I could be a good driver but I want to be great. It could end badly, but I hope not. To be great is to work with this team to help turn them into one of the most successful in the sport. If I am able to do that it will be special.”Hamilton is still fighting the perception that his achievements were authored by a benevolent Dennis, bailing him out since the age of 13. The association did not hinder but the blithe assumption ignores the weight of the raw material he brought to the equation. Not for nothing does former team-mate Fernando Alonso, with whom Hamilton endured a radioactive first season in grand prix racing, regard him as his greatest rival, ahead of Red Bull’s triple world champion Sebastian Vettel. The feeling is mutual.”It’s a huge plus to have positive comments from Fernando. I felt I always had positive things to say about him but a lot of stuff just got in the way back then. We both perhaps said things we did not mean or in the heat…

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Posted by admin 25 January 2013


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