Hamilton: McLaren Can Recover


Lewis Hamilton says he has absolute faith in McLaren's ability to get its currently uncompetitive 2009 on the pace during the season.

The world champion is facing a very difficult start to the year after McLaren languished near the foot of the times in recent tests, and the team admitted that it had significant problems to resolve before it could think about challenging for victories.

But Hamilton is optimistic that McLaren can develop its way out of its present predicament.

"I've driven for Vodafone McLaren-Mercedes for two years and, in both those seasons, the team has developed a fantastic car," he told a group of British newspaper journalists.

"At the moment, this year's car is a little behind the rest in terms of development but I'm absolutely confident we will get stronger and grow as the year progresses.

"I have complete faith in my team. They are working so hard at the moment, putting in incredible hours and massive effort. And I'll do my bit too. Heikki [Kovalainen] and I will work together to improve the car's pace. We're totally committed to working with the team to develop the best car possible."

He is adamant that his motivation will not slip even if he does not have a car capable of race wins.

"My plan is to be at the front of the grid in Melbourne," said Hamilton. "But if I'm not able to start the Australian Grand Prix from the front of the grid, I'll still race my heart out. I can't wait to get back racing."

The Briton added that he felt less pressure than he would have done had this situation occurred before he had clinched his first title.

"Losing the championship because you've never had it before is definitely harder than the possibility of losing the status that comes with it," he said.

"Now that I've won it, I can be very appreciative that I had a great opportunity, that I had a great car and a great team that did a great job. I've got to be mindful of the fact that you can't do it all the time.

"Some people win one; some win two or three. I don't know how many I will win, but I know that I'm just as determined as ever.

"But the energy behind that determination is managed differently. Rather than just being aggressive, it's a much happier balance because I've not got stresses from anywhere.

"Things are good; sponsors are happy, my boss is happy, so I'm getting positive energy from all these different people."