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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 December 2007, 08:42 GMT
Hamilton urges focus amid spy row
Lewis Hamilton
Hamilton was runner up at the 2007 Sports Personality of the Year
Lewis Hamilton has urged his McLaren team not be distracted by the ongoing spying row in Formula One.

McLaren have to wait until February to hear if their 2008 car has been cleared as officials check whether it has elements based on leaked Ferrari data.

"The only concern I have is that the concentration and determination of the team is not affected - and I know it won't be," said Hamilton.

"I just hope the team keep in mind that we still are the best."

Hopefully next year we will have a much smoother year and can have fun

Lewis Hamilton

McLaren were fined 49.2m and lost their points in the constructors' championship in September after being found guilty of receiving information from a Ferrari spy.

And they could be punished further if their new car is not cleared by governing body the FIA on 14 February, just over a month before the opening race of the season.

At that meeting of the FIA's world council, McLaren and their rivals will discuss the report from the FIA technical department.

But Hamilton said: "For me, from now until the first Grand Prix, I've got to be working 100%, the same as the team.

606: DEBATE

"Formula One has been an amazing rollercoaster and I am very happy and proud to have been part of it but in terms of all the politics, it has been frustrating in that sense. I am just a racer.

"I love to go to the tracks and drive. I don't like to get involved in all the politics but unfortunately you are dragged into it.

"That comes with the whole game and you just have to deal with it in the best way you can. Hopefully next year we will have a much smoother year and can have fun."

Hamilton finished runner-up to Joe Calzaghe for the 2007 BBC Sports Personality of the Year award after a stunning rookie season which saw him pipped by Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen to the drivers' championship.

But despite the accolades he has received this term, Hamilton insists he is still as determined to challenge again in 2008.

Seeing the support of the British fans this year has been unreal and I can't wait until next season

Lewis Hamilton

"I need to continue working hard. I am still in the very early stages of my career and I feel very confident and optimistic," he said.

"I can't wait until next year and I hope we can get the championship. It is going to be a tough year, for sure.

"I can't say I will win it next year but I believe I have the ability to win and I believe being in the right place at the right time and, with hard work and dedication, it is possible.

"I hope I can give Britain some sporting success in 2008. I am very proud of my family and their background and where they come from and I am very proud of being British and the support I have had has been fantastic.

"I don't feel I let them down. It was my first year but I just hope they continue to support me and I hope I can deliver."



SEE ALSO
Alonso opts for return to Renault
10 Dec 07 |  Formula One
Hamilton hails 'worthy' Calzaghe
09 Dec 07 |  Sport Homepage
Hamilton impresses in Jerez test
05 Dec 07 |  Formula One
McLaren face wait over 2008 car
07 Dec 07 |  Formula One
Renault escape spy row punishment
06 Dec 07 |  Formula One
Hamilton shock at BBC nomination
04 Dec 07 |  Sports Personality
Hamilton like Senna, says sister
03 Dec 07 |  Formula One
Hamilton takes Top Gear challenge
02 Dec 07 |  Motorsport
Hamilton makes dream start
02 Oct 07 |  Formula One
McLaren raise ante in spying row
23 Nov 07 |  Formula One
McLaren 'came close to exclusion'
14 Sep 07 |  Formula One
McLaren hit by constructors' ban
13 Sep 07 |  Formula One


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