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Motor Racing

Lewis Hamilton turns attention to 2011

Lewis Hamilton is already counting down the weeks to the new Formula One season after McLaren ended this year on a high.

Hamilton and team-mate Jenson Button finished yesterday's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix by joining race winner and new world champion Sebastian Vettel on the podium with second and third places respectively.

Hamilton ultimately finished 14 points behind Vettel, who has displaced him as the sport's youngest title winner by 166 days at the age of 23 years 135 days.

After two runner-up drives in the final three races, Hamilton was happy enough, but already has one eye on the next campaign.

"To get both of us onto the podium and to clinch runner-up spot in the constructors' world championship represent a great achievement for the whole team," said Hamilton.

"The team has been pushing so hard for the whole season - I'm so proud of everyone.

"Now, though, I'm already looking ahead to next year, when I hope our car will be even better, so that we can do battle at the very front from the first race of the season.

"There are 15 weeks (it is actually 17) to go until the 2011 season starts - it can't come soon enough!"

Outgoing champion Button at least finished on the podium for the first time in five races, albeit was 42 points down on Vettel.

Button appreciates that was not what he was expecting when he joined McLaren at the start of the year, but at least feels he has a platform on which to build for next season.

"During the year I've had some very good Sundays, but some difficult Saturdays, which is something I'm going to work on over the winter," said Button, who knows he has let himself down in qualifying.

"Overall, however, I'm very happy with my first season at McLaren, and I want to say thank you to the entire team.

"It didn't turn out quite as we'd hoped, but there have been a lot of good days and a lot of good experiences that we can use to benefit our 2011 campaign."