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Patience and perseverance key to success - Hamilton

ESPN Staff
January 25, 2013 « 'No problems' for Kubica at DTM test | BMW signs Glock for DTM drive »
Lewis Hamilton: "2014 is a slightly better opportunity because everybody will start from scratch again" © Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton Q&A | Gallery of Hamilton's factory visit

Lewis Hamilton has again played down expectations ahead of his first season with Mercedes, saying he will have a better opportunity to fight for the title in 2014 when the engine regulations are overhauled.

Hamilton visited the Mercedes factory for his first media appearances on Thursday and said he had been impressed by the team's "hunger" for victory. But after Mercedes finished last year over a second off the pace of the front runners, he said he is not expecting to turn up at the first race and lead from the front.

"It's a marathon not a sprint and we're looking at the long haul," he said. "I hope that we can be competitive and if we arrive at the first race and we are up at the front that's just going to be spectacular, but if we're not then we are just going to have to keep working at it.

"At the moment I've not even driven the car so I don't know what problems they had [last year] and I haven't got anything to tell them and what area they need to improve in. They didn't have enough downforce [in 2012] maybe, but I won't know until I've got in the car. But 2014 is a slightly better opportunity because everybody will start from scratch again."

Asked if he had the patience to wait for better results, Hamilton said: "Time will tell but I'm pretty sure I do! You have to remember I've had some half-dodgy cars in the past as well. One particular year was 2009 but it did get better. Perseverance is going to be the key going forward."

He also compared the two teams' simulator technology after getting his first taste of Mercedes' 2013 car in virtual reality.

"The simulator is a little bit different to what we had at McLaren. I've been driving the simulator at McLaren since I was 13 so I've been a part of that development process since it started. Here we have three simulators, one which is very much like the one we started with [at McLaren] that doesn't move, then they have another one which is really good and then the newest one which has all the technology that McLaren has.

"We just need to dial it in a bit more and we have lots of work to do on it, but it's great to drive and I got the first impression of how the car is feeling because I got to drive the 2013 car."