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Book of rules provides new challenge for world champion

NEW CHALLENGES AHEAD: F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton

REIGNING WORLD champion Lewis Hamilton believes the new radio communication restrictions will make races significantly more challenging for drivers in 2016.

egulations surrounding team radio messages will be enforced more strictly this season, with the aim of ensuring "the driver shall drive the car alone and unaided", as per the FIA regulations.

"The changes to the radio rules will have a big impact," Hamilton explained. "The engineers now can't give you prompts or reminders that might affect performance during the race, so you have to remember so much more.

"This even applies to strategy, so when it's shifting throughout the race you won't be in the loop. It will be tough - but hopefully it will make for more exciting races. Now we head to Melbourne and the first to chance to see how all this plays out on track. I can't wait to get started."

The three-time world champion said he is also prepared for a fiercer test from his rivals this year, and expects more from himself to meet the challenge.

"People keep asking me about motivation - but I just have to look at the faces of all those people [at the Mercedes factory] to know what I'm fighting for," Hamilton added.

"I know there's still more to come from me - I think I've shown that in the past two years. There certainly needs to be some extra in my tank, as the competition will be stronger than ever this year.

"You're constantly faced with new challenges to reach [perfection]. Just as you think you're close, suddenly you fall further back - like someone dangling a carrot on a piece of string and whipping it away just as you reach for it.

"It's tough mentally - but that's a good thing, as it forces you to be resilient and seek improvement in every area."

In 2016 Hamilton is bidding to become only the fourth driver in F1 history - after Juan Manuel Fangio, Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel - to win three successive drivers' crowns.

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