Champ Lewis Hamilton realistic about his chances
Lewis Hamilton appreciates he may have difficulty this year emulating his outstanding achievements of last season.
That is not Hamilton sounding defeatist even before a wheel has turned in anger on his ninth Formula One campaign that is due to begin in Australia on March 15, but instead he is being a realist.
For once, Hamilton enjoyed a stable background throughout the entire season as in the past family or relationship problems off track have often had an adverse effect on it for the 30-year-old.
It ensured Hamilton enjoyed a clear mind and allowed him to focus on what he does best, and for the majority of the time there was no one better than the Briton in 2014.
Hamilton won 11 grands prix, an accomplishment bettered by only two men in F1 history - Michael Schumacher in 2004 and Sebastian Vettel in 2013 who hold the record for most wins in a season with 13.
Without doubt Hamilton had beneath him the best car of his career as Mercedes had built what he described as "a monster".
It allowed him to overcome the odds in his battle with team-mate Nico Rosberg, ultimately to win a long overdue second world title. Of those that have two or more F1 championships to their name, only Hamilton and fellow British great Graham Hill have had to wait so long in between the first and second, in this instance six years.
So in looking ahead to this year, as far as Hamilton is concerned "it feels like everything has been reset", and now begins the long climb again towards further hoped-for glory.
Hamilton said: "I don't sit here feeling like the champion I was last year. I feel exactly the same now this year as I did at the beginning of last year. You have to appreciate last year was exceptional and it will be hard to beat."