Lewis Hamilton has given a very candid admission, that he mishandled his maiden F1 season in 2007, and in particular his relationship with team-mate Fernando Alonso.

Hamilton had the most successful debut season of any F1 driver, scoring a hatful of victories on his way to losing out on the championship title by a single point to Kimi Raikkonen.

Disagreements between the two came to a head at that season’s Monaco, US, Hungarian and Belgian Grands Prix, and the two were barely on speaking terms come the year’s end. The relationship between the team-mates was so fractious that Alonso left the team at the end of the season to return to Renault.

"It’s different [today]," the 2008 Champion told BBC Sport. "We’ve learnt from experiences. At the beginning of my first year I was up alongside the 2-time World Champion, he was seen as the guy to win the World Championship and I think at the time I misinterpreted and misunderstood the goals and understanding of how the team worked.

"But since I’ve been here they’ve done everything to give us, individually, the best package possible. I’ve never had more than the guy next to me – we’ve always had equal opportunities, which is the greatest thing in a team; it’s not easy to manage that because one guy can be ahead of the other.

"Inevitably, people say things sometimes when they haven’t done so well; you say things out of anger, you say things that you potentially don’t mean – that’s how I see it from the others. Having made lots and lots of mistakes in my career, hopefully this will be a year of a lot fewer!"

I don’t buy the “equal opportunity” statement; just ask Heikki Kovalainen!

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.