McLaren's Lewis Hamilton is 'in a good place' for the 2012 F1 title

By Andrew BensonChief F1 writer

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton says he is "in a good place" mentally after a winter spent analysing his mistakes from 2011.

The Englishman is aiming to create an environment in which he can perform more consistently than last year.

"I feel great. I'm trying to take all the right steps towards keeping myself focused on the main goal, which is winning the world championship," said Hamilton, who won the title in 2008.

"As long as we have the car, there is no reason why we can't do that."

It was announced on Wednesday that Didier Coton, who previously worked with double world champion and former McLaren driver Mika Hakkinen, would join Hamilton's management team.

Not having the right combination of people around him was one of the reasons Hamilton gave for his troubled mindset last year.

"It's definitely a step towards that direction," said Hamilton. "I think I'm closer to having that already.

"It was not necessarily having someone who knows more about Formula 1, but having someone there who I can offload a lot of stuff to. Last year I didn't always have someone there. I wanted to make it our goal to make sure we have someone there at grands prix. And we have Didier.

"Didier's been a good friend of mine for many years and he's got great experience of my team and the F1 paddock.

"I thought it would be good to have him just there when I need him. That's generally what he's there for."

The 27-year-old added: "I feel like I'm in a good place. I've made some good choices over the last few months and hopefully that will reflect on the season."

Hamilton was speaking at the end of his first day of testing in the 2012 McLaren, about which he said his initial impressions were "pretty good".

He finished the session in Jerez, Spain, fourth fastest, fractionally behind the reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull.

The fastest time was set by Nico Rosberg in a 2011 Mercedes, followed by the new Lotus of novice Romain Grosjean.

Hamilton will resume testing on Friday, the final day of four days of running at the track.

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