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Formula 1 News - March, 2009
Hamilton vows to correct arrogance label

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Mar.22 (GMM) Reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton has vowed to correct the perception by some that he is arrogant.

By the end of his second formula one season last year, the 24-year-old had become the sport's youngest ever title winner amid waves of acclaim and comparisons with the greatest drivers.

In between testing McLaren's 2009 car this winter, the Briton visited Buckingham Palace to pick up an MBE and was measured for a Madame Tussauds wax statue, but still some observers equate his self-confidence with big-headedness.

"I never want to hear that kind of thing," Hamilton is quoted as saying by British Sunday newspapers.

"I think you (reporters) know I am not. I know where I am and what I am capable of. But what I do is, I take it (the criticism) and try to understand why it is being said.

"Everyone makes mistakes and for sure there is maybe a point where I have been arrogant and come across as being arrogant.

"So I have to accept that. You have to -- you can't say everyone else is stupid. So you just have to deal with it and correct it," he added.

His critics have almost as loud a voice as those who admire him, but Hamilton assured the British journalists that he heads to Australia a very happy man.

"I have not got stresses from anywhere," said Hamilton, whose MP4-24 will bear the coveted number one at Albert Park and beyond. "Things are good.

"Sponsors are happy. My boss is so freaking happy. And now I've got all that stress off my shoulders. I love this sport. I love this job. It is damn cool."

He hinted strongly that retirement is not in the 5 or perhaps even 10-year plan, but said he acknowledges there is life beyond the paddock.

"I don't want to be here when I am old and grey. There are so many amazing things you can experience in your life," said Hamilton.

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