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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 June 2007, 15:16 GMT 16:16 UK
Hamilton - I can hold off Alonso
Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso
Alonso (right) has complained that McLaren favour Hamilton
Britain's Lewis Hamilton believes he has a competitive edge over Fernando Alonso that could see him crowned Formula One world champion this year.

"I've never known anyone as competitive as me and I think he (Alonso) is very close," said Hamilton, who leads his McLaren team-mate in the standings.

"I still think I'm more competitive than him, and I don't know if that is just because I am younger or what.

"If I'm consistent, then there's no reason why I can't win the title."

The 22-year-old added: "I'm still on a steep learning curve.

"There are going to be some negatives from this season, ups and downs, and I have to be prepared for that.

"But I'm in the best team, and I've the best opportunity to (win the title)."

Two-time world champion Alonso complained last week that McLaren favoured Hamilton over him.

The team have told their drivers not to speak about each other unless they are together.

Yet Hamilton insisted he has a good relationship with the Spaniard.


He said: "Fernando is a great guy, extremely dedicated. Coming into the team I had a lot of respect for him, being a two-time world champion and someone I have looked up to for a few years.

"We get on really well. With him being Spanish, the media in Spain try to twist things, and I think it's the same with the British media. They are always trying to take certain things out of context.

"But we're very supportive of each other and have a great deal of respect for each other.

"But at the moment we feel it is better we speak about each other when we are both there because he could read something in the papers that I've said that might be twisted.

"I would never make a negative comment about him because I've a lot of respect for him."

Hamilton, who is bidding to become the first rookie to win the world championship, admitted he enjoyed a great competitive rivalry with his team-mate.

"We're very competitive," he said. "We both want to win, but we've never had a fall-out.

"We've already had some close races and I'm looking forward to the next few.

"But even after I won at the weekend (in Indianapolis), he came up to me and said 'congratulations, you're very professional'."

Hamilton has been virtually flawless in F1 this season, finishing on the podium in all seven of his starts.

Yet he made an uncharacteristic error on Thursday when he crashed a go-kart into barriers in London.

The kart, which he used to race competitively earlier in his motorsport career, had been sold in a charity auction for 42,100.

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10 Jun 07 |  Formula One
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