Sat | Feb 17, 2018

MOTORSPORT: Lewis Hamilton ready to get back on track with new Mercedes F1 car

Published:Thursday | February 23, 2017 | 1:06 PM
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain poses for photographers at the launch of the new Mercedes F1 car at the Silverstone racetrack in Towcester, England on Thursday.

With a new car beneath him and his biggest rival in retirement, Lewis Hamilton is ready to get back on the track.

Hamilton, speaking at the launch of the new Mercedes car on Thursday, said the experience of losing to teammate Nico Rosberg last season has made him better.

"I feel I am stronger. I feel more complete as a driver," the 32-year-old Hamilton said. "I feel like I am the best prepared I have ever been. I didn't win the world championship last year and I want to change that."

Hamilton, a three-time F1 champion, will be teaming with Valtteri Bottas this season. And that's fine with Hamilton, who had uneasy relationship with Rosberg.

"I don't think I have ever missed a teammate in my life because there is always one that takes his place," Hamilton said. "It definitely will feel strange, and it already is, but you soon get past it.

"One day I will leave and another driver will come along. You don't forget, but get used to what you have. Right now my feelings from last year are not lingering. I have started a new slate and moved on."

Hamilton won more races than Rosberg last season and rounded out the year with four consecutive victories, but his championship defense was blighted by a number of mechanical issues.