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Last Updated: Tuesday January 08 2008 07:44 GMT

Hamilton's hope for racing season

Lewis Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen with their new car

BOY RACER
Check out Lewis' new wheels

Formula One star Lewis Hamilton celebrated his 23rd birthday by showing off the car he hopes to race to victory in this year's driver's championship.

The 23-year-old McLaren driver reckons he'll have a strong season after the disappointment of narrowly missing out on last year's title to Kimi Raikkonen.

"Every year I grow, with the knocks, mistakes, disappointments, even race victories," he said.

"I honestly believe I can do an even better job this season."

Hamilton had great success in his first year in Formula One, but it wasn't all easy.

Lewis Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen
Lewis Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen are looking forward to the new season

He reportedly had a very frosty relationship with former team mate Fernando Alonso and McLaren were fined £50m and lost their constructors' points in a row over spying on another team's car.

But with a new team mate in the shape of Finnish driver Heikki Kovalainen, Hamilton said they were in better shape than ever.

"I just believe it's a fresh start for us all, turning over a new leaf," he said.

The pair will test their new car in Spain later this week before the start of the new season in Australia on 16 March.