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2015

You ask the questions: Lewis Hamilton

The newly minted double world champion takes time out from his 2015 preparations to exclusively answer your questions about his title defence, Nico Rosberg - and MC Hammer

It's a cold, dark midwinter afternoon and the sleepy market town of Brackley is going about its daily business. Few of its good denizens will have noticed the new sign placed at the entrance to Reynard Way - portal to Brackley's most rock-star residents. It reads 'Mercedes AMG Formula One Team: 2014 world champions'.

Inside the foyer of team HQ, formerly home to BAR-Honda, then Brawn GP, the Mercedes F1 W05 Hybrid is the centrepiece of a new reception layout. A couple of floors up, engineers quietly toil at their CFD screens, seeking a new performance edge. A couple of doors down, the world champion suddenly appears, looking refreshed and relaxed after a winter away from racing. Lewis Hamilton is primed and ready for another gruelling campaign. He picks up the February issue of F1 Racing and studies intently the Williams FW37 that features on its cover. "It looks like they've copied our suspension," he muses, noting details of the nose and the front wishbones. "Ha, we've changed that now!"

Lewis will begin a new season in a little over a month, his aim being to claim back-to-back titles. But before that, there's the small matter of answering your questions to attend to...

Congratulations on becoming world champion. Did it feel different to when you first won it in 2008?
Jessica Kelsey, UK

Yeah. This championship was better because I've been in a much happier place. When I was younger - I don't really remember 2008 very well - I wasn't really my own man. My dad was a big driving force. Now I stand on my own two feet, pay my own bills, look after myself and make my own decisions. I make my choices on my own, in terms of how I prepare and approach things and the sacrifices I make. Do's and don'ts are what got me to win that championship. And that's something to be really proud of.

How have you been celebrating your world title?
John Herbert, UK

I've not been celebrating it, to be honest. Right after the last race I had a lot of appearances and interviews and I didn't really go out until the New Year. Then I went skiing and snowboarding and that was great fun - that was my reward.

For you personally Lewis, what would it mean to equal your hero, Ayrton Senna, by winning three world titles?
Dave Armstrong, Canada

It would be very cool. I've always wanted to emulate Ayrton, having read all the books about him and watched the videos. Growing up, targeting the three world championships - that was the special number. Michael Schumacher succeeded further, but when I was young the greats had scored three. I'm hoping that I can win one more championship to get to three and make it onto that list of greats. People say that I'm 'a great', but I don't feel I ever could be considered a great until I'm at least in that zone - and that's one more championship. Then at least I'd feel like I had reached the minimum standard. Beyond that is another level.

Given that you've partnered both of them, how do you think Jenson Button will cope with Fernando Alonso at McLaren?
Bill Allen, UK

Jenson is a very easy-going guy. He's very talented and hard-working. I'll be as interested as anyone to see how he does. Fernando is obviously very quick, but I think Jenson will be fine. He'll do everything he can to beat him.

F1R: You've been there, so you know how much fun it is!

LH: Yeah, I've been up against both of them and there are pros and cons to both drivers as there are with everyone.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE MARCH 2015 ISSUE