Date: 18th March 2018 at 8:01am
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Lewis Hamilton is targeting a fifth Formula One World Championship in 2018.

If he can do so, he will edge clear of Sebastian Vettel and Alain Prost and equal Juan Manuel Fangio.

Hamilton will then stand just two behind all-time great Michael Schumacher.

The 2017 title holder goes into the new campaign as the favourite to clinch the crown once again.

But Hamilton does not want a clean shot at making history, he would prefer the challenge of a title battle.

‘I can’t wait for the first race to see where we all come out. We want people to be on the edge of their seats.’ Hamilton told Sky Sports.

Hamilton will face a challenge from team-mate Valterri Bottas, who in his second season with the team, could now be able to show his more consistent performances that he showed with Williams.

Two winter tests in Barcelona appear to suggest that Ferrari and Red Bull Racing may well have closed the gap to Mercedes this season, bringing Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen, Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo into contention for regular podium finishes this season.

Hamilton added: ‘l am enjoying driving the car. It is an improvement. Last year’s car was great but this car feels better.’

‘Where we are compared to the rest, I don’t know. But l feel strong right now.’