Melbourne - Defending champion Lewis Hamilton said on Thursday
he hadn't yet reached the peak of his powers as he embarks on the weekend's
Australian Grand Prix in search of a fifth Formula One crown.
Hamilton, who is reportedly about to sign a new contract
with Mercedes, says he is ready to break down new barriers at the age of 33.
While appearing disinterested for large parts of the
drivers' news conference ahead of Sunday's Melbourne opener, Hamilton said he
was definitely ready to take on all-comers in the 21-race season.
The British driver was asked if he had reached his peak.
"I hope not," said Hamilton.
"I'm sure there is a peak for a driver when his fitness
levels get harder to reach, when your interest and drive starts to decline.
"I guess that's when you're over your peak, but I
definitely feel I'm not at that (stage)."
The Englishman, who beat Ferrari arch-rival Sebastian Vettel
to win last year's world title with two races to spare, said he is eyeing new
highs this year.
"In my mind I'm trying to break down new barriers, push
the envelope and see how far I can take (it) - firstly, the opportunity that I
have and obviously the ability I have to realise my full potential," he
"I don't know what that is and that's what I'm
Hamilton said inconsistency issues were now in the past as
he seeks his fourth world title in five years after winning his first one with
McLaren in 2008.
"I think there are a lot of people that need to get
headlines, so that's one way of saying it," he said.
"But, I think the important issue is to be more
consistent than I was last year. I think consistency was the reason I won the
Hamilton, who showed little interest in elaborating on his
answers to media questioning at his conference, said he was focused on racing.
"I'm definitely not tired, this is the 12th season I'm
doing the press conferences," he said.
"I'm definitely not the most excited about this section
of the season and the race weekend, but I'm looking forward to getting in the
He had words of praise for his rival Vettel, sitting
alongside him at the media conference.
"The ultimate goal to be the best is that you're going
to have to go up against the best," he said of Vettel.
"He's got the four world titles, had the most of any
other driver at the time and I think this is an exciting year for Formula One
fans that we have two four-time world champions battling it out."
Hamilton has won twice in Melbourne, in 2008 and 2015, and
has won 62 of his 208 GPs.
He already holds the record for most pole positions with 72
ahead of Michael Schumacher's 68.