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Hamilton ignores Horner prediction

ESPNF1 Staff
March 14, 2012 « Marussia focusing on aero over KERS - Glock | Kubica would be at Ferrari - Ecclestone »
Lewis Hamilton believes Jenson Button beat him in 2011 due to his own poor performances © Sutton Images
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Lewis Hamilton says he is unconcerned by Christian Horner's belief that Jenson Button is a bigger threat to Sebastian Vettel's title than Hamilton is.

When asked who was likely to be the strongest rival to Red Bull in 2012, Horner said it was "probably Jenson." Ahead of this weekend's Australian Grand Prix Hamilton said that Horner was entitled to his opinion and that he wouldn't be using the comments as motivation, despite being beaten by Button in 2011.

"It's the first time I've heard of [the remarks] but they definitely don't wind me up," Hamilton told the BBC. "There are a lot of opinions, and everybody has their right to an opinion, but it doesn't really affect me. It doesn't really matter at the end of the day when I go out and do the job."

With Button finishing as runner-up to Vettel last year it was the first time that Hamilton had been beaten by a team-mate across a whole season, but he said that he contributed to that result through his own poor performances.

"Losing to Jenson didn't really bother me. If it had been a case where we had been fiercely competitive throughout the year it would have been quite tough to deal with. But knowing it was a year where I threw away points, made very silly mistakes - sometimes a little unfortunate, but it was just a shocking year - I wasn't really too devastated by it.

"I've drawn a line under it because at the end of the day he didn't win the world championship, so it could have been even worse. But there are still many years ahead, and I don't plan on [what happened last year] being the case this year."

With Vettel already a double world champion at the age of 24 and Hamilton yet to add to his solitary title, he added that he still felt he had plenty of time to become a multiple world champion.

"There's no point saying whether I should have done better. Of course, given my own expectations, I would have liked to have achieved more and have done better. But the journey I've had is the one that has been mapped out for me, and I would say the learning curve has been a steep one.

"I'm only 27 so if I'm to race as long as Michael [Schumacher] is racing, then I've still quite some time on my side. Given that, I definitely feel as if I can win more titles. My commitment to that has never really changed."