2014 will be F1's most exciting year says Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton 'more fired-up than ever'

Lewis Hamilton hopes the new Formula 1 season will see the end of Red Bull's domination and "be the most exciting year" for some time.

"One team destroying it for four years, having your ass whupped so badly, is not good for the sport," he said.

"You want a championship that goes to the wire. I hope the changes enable that to happen this year."

F1 is introducing its biggest rule changes for a generation this season, with new turbo hybrid engines, a fuel limit and a reduction in aerodynamic downforce.

Hamilton, who heads into this weekend's season-opening race in Australia as favourite, said in an exclusive BBC Sport interview: "I've been flying through all these different airports and bumping into someone from a different country and they'll say: 'I used to watch F1 but I don't watch it anymore.'

"And I'll say: 'This is the year you need to watch because this is such a new year. So much is changing. So it's really going to be the most exciting year for any fan who is currently watching or who wants to start watching.'"

Mercedes have been the most impressive team in pre-season testing, completing the most miles, while Red Bull have had a torrid time with poor reliability and lacking performance from their Renault engine.

Hamilton warned not to write Red Bull off, but added his voice to those predicting a revival for the once-great Williams team, who have struggled in recent years.

"Fundamentally, I think Red Bull still have an amazing car," he said. "Hopefully we'll have a better engine than them, which will help a lot.

"Ferrari seem strong. They will undoubtedly be strong competitors.

"More surprising is people like Williams. They've now got our engine and they now have a competitive package and I think they're going to be a real head-turner this year. I'm really excited for them.

"And McLaren are back, so it's going to be a great battle."

Hamilton said he enters the season feeling better than ever before.

Lewis Hamilton set the pace on the final day of pre-season testing in Bahrain

"I feel I am the best prepared and I'm equipped with the tools I need to be even better than I have been in the past," he said.

The 2008 world champion added: "I'm secretively more fired up than ever. Every year after the winter tests, you get to the first race and people say, 'How do you feel?' And you say, 'I feel the best I've ever felt, the fittest I've ever been, blah, blah, blah.'

"Naturally you train through the winter to be in that place but you don't always have the package to show all that work.

"Every now and then you get a year where you're able to use it. I'm hoping when we get to Australia it is that year and we're able to show we've got the package to back it up with.

"I feel ready. I have strong opponents, but I'm excited."

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