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Lewis Hamilton: McLaren will take F1 championship fight to Red Bull

McLaren will take F1 championship fight to Red Bull, insists Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton insists McLaren will be ready to take the fight to Red Bull at the Formula One season opener in Melbourne after expressing his delight at the true pace of his new car.

Hamilton finished a seemingly lowly ninth in testing at Barcelona yesterday and has just one more opportunity behind the wheel of the MP4-27 before taking to the track in anger in a fortnight.

But wearing an expression of quiet confidence, Hamilton claimed that the rest of the grid could be in for a nasty shock when he is allowed to unleash the true potential of his McLaren in Australia.

Bullish: Hamilton expects McLaren to challenge for the top honours this season

Bullish: Hamilton expects McLaren to challenge for the top honours this season

He said: 'The car is strong, stronger than it was last year and with the fuel loads we have been running we are relatively strong compared to the others.

'We have focused on our programme and I think we are competitive when you do the calculations. We won't take the fuel out until we get to Melbourne.'

Hamilton appears fully recuperated from a tumultuous 2011 season on and off the track and is adamant he is prepared for the season ahead both physically and mentally.

Eyes wide open: Hamilton expects big things from his team's new car

Eyes wide open: Hamilton expects big things from his team's new car

Eyes wide open: Hamilton expects big things from his team's new car

He added: 'I have come a long way in six years and I am still learning today. But I am applying the things I have learned over those six years in a better way than I have in previously.

'I am in a good place and I am making right choices. My mind is in the right place for the season. We're coming to the end of my testing now and I feel fit and I feel ready.'

'I am in a good place and I am making right choices. My mind is in the right place for the season. We're coming to the end of my testing now and I feel fit and I feel ready.'

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