Lewis Hamilton has some bad news for his opponents – he reckons he’ll be even better now that the pressure of trying to win the world title for the first time has gone.
In an interview with ITV Sport the new champ said: "I feel less pressure. I don’t feel the pressure comes from my surroundings, I feel it comes from within."
Blocking out external factors, such as rival drivers supposed dislike of him, could be the key to continued success. Speaking about his perceived unpopularity, he commented: "It doesnt really bother me, to be honest. It’s just the way it is. It’s not necessarily people not liking me, it’s that no one likes to lose."
Losing was something that Hamilton was almost resigned to in the closing stages of last season’s last Grand Prix event when Sebastian Vettel overtook him three laps from the finish, seemingly ending his title chances.
"I’m nervous even talking about it," the 23-year-old said.
Rule changes to be introduced next year could make the start to the new season a nerve-racking time as the drivers jockey for pole position.