• Mercedes

Hamilton: No added importance on opening race

ESPN Staff
March 12, 2015 « Sauber loses Van der Garde appeal | Ricciardo pleased with 12 months of growth »
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Lewis Hamilton says he feels no added pressure ahead of the first race of his title defence despite starting 2014 on the back foot with a retirement in Australia at the opener last year.

Hamilton took pole in Melbourne last year but his race lasted only two laps after he retired with engine problems. He subsequently spent much of the year making up for lost ground to team-mate Nico Rosberg but he says he does not view this year's opener with difference to another race weekend.

"It's the same," Hamilton said. "I don't see a particular exaggerated importance than any other time. Of course you come here wanting to start on the right foot, as I didn't do last year. But there's a long, long way to go so it's not the most important thing at the start of the year."

Hamilton is still yet to sign a contract extension at Mercedes, with his current deal expiring at the end of this year. Talks have been ongoing since he won the championship last year and Hamilton is still relaxed about how they are progressing.

"Toto gave you guys some answers this morning," Hamilton said about his contract. "I don't really know what to say, it's going good. It's not signed yet."

When asked if a deal will be signed soon, Hamilton said: "I'd like to think so, I hope so."

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