McLaren looking good for 2011 says Lewis Hamilton

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The Independent Online

Lewis Hamilton is impressed by McLaren's Formula One car for next year's championship even though it has yet to turn a wheel for real.

The team's 2008 world champion, who ended this season fourth overall with three race wins, spent a day in their simulator at the Woking headquarters on Monday and said he was happy with the virtual test of the MP4-26.

"Lots of neat ideas and improvements," the 25-year-old told his 61,000 followers on social network Twitter.

"First time driving the new car and I was happy. KERS and rear wing is trick but felt right at home with it."

Formula One is reintroducing KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) next season after some teams used it in 2009 before agreeing to take it off the cars as part of cost-saving measures.

Mercedes, who provide McLaren's engines and KERS, were generally recognised to have the most effective system in 2009 and both Hamilton and his 2009 world champion team mate Jenson Button have said they expected theirs to be the best again.

"Our KERS is the best," said Hamilton. "It shud (should) deliver."

Button, who did not use KERS on his way to winning the title with Brawn GP, said in a webchat last week that he expected McLaren's system to more than make up for the loss of the now-banned 'F-duct' that McLaren pioneered this year.

"I've never driven with KERS before but this team used KERS last year and used it well," said Button, who lost his title to Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel. "I know because they kept coming by me at the start.

"They have so much experience in that area that I think we'll have an advantage, as will Mercedes and Force India who use Mercedes engines. We'll have an advantage on Red Bull and Ferrari I think," added the Briton.

Hamilton said he had not taken part in a recent post-season tyre test in Abu Dhabi because both the tyres and cars will change considerably before the start of the championship in March.

Pirelli have replaced Bridgestone as Formula One's sole supplier and are still formulating the construction and compounds.

Hamilton said the new tyres were fine but the rears tended to degrade quickly.