When Hamilton first started, I was delighted for him when he achieved 3rd on début in Melbourne and I was pleased to see him challenging Alonso and making the championship epic. But into 2008, where he expected to win every race, I started to go off him a little as I thought he was becoming rather haughty. I actually supported Massa in Brazil of that year rather than Hamilton to be honest. But to get to my point, what I have found wonderful is that out of something so bad – something so good has come. Let me explain: Last year he struggled with a horrible car, he was often heard cursing on the radio and he was furious that the team hadn’t provided him with a car capable of winning races, or at least challenging some of the other teams for points on some weekends. My opinion on him never really changed throughout last year – but this year, he has changed, he is a different person.
I think it took the misfortune of 2009 to bring him back down to earth and as a result, he is a much calmer and more mature driver; a better driver. He seems to handle the press a lot better now and looks to be a lot happier, which is good – as it means he is more comfortable doing what he is doing and enjoying it more. This year is as far as I see it, Lewis’ re-building year, where he is re-establishing himself as one of the best drivers on the grid. And even if he doesn’t win the championship this year, I think he has turned himself into the exact driver you would want to be to win future world championships. I am looking forward to some great battles between Lewis and Sebastian for many years to come.