LEWIS HAMILTON admits he was in awe of Michael Schumacher when the pair locked horns for their first battle in testing last week.
The British former world champion will fulfil a dream and go wheel-to-wheel with Schumacher this season after the 41-year-old agreed to come out of retirement to drive for Mercedes.
McLaren star Hamilton, who won the title in 2008, is yet to share a grid with the seven-time world champion and admits their first exchanges on the track were pretty special.
“It’s great for the sport, great for the fans, and for me it’s going to be a great experience to have such a legend on the track with us,” Hamilton said.“In testing I had a little bit of time behind him and it was crazy to think, ‘This is Michael Schumacher in front of me, wow. This guy’s won seven world championships and I’ve done it once and it was so hard.’ To do it seven times is remarkable.”
Hamilton joins forces with fellow Brit and current world champion, Jenson Button, at McLaren this year, and admits he has learned from previous mistakes, where he hasn’t always been the ideal team-mate.
The 25-year-old admits he “misinterpreted and misunderstood the goals and how the team worked” during his ill-fated partnership with Fernando Alonso in his rookie season of 2007, and insists he will not make the same errors again.
“Inevitably people say things sometimes when they haven’t done so well. You say things out of anger; you say things that you don’t mean. It’s different [now]. We’ve learnt from experiences. We understand each other very well.”