• IN WORDS: I'm Trying to Break Down New Barriers - Lewis

Reigning World Champion Lewis Hamilton says it's a privilege to be racing at the forefront in Formula One and believes there's still plenty for him to prove.

'Live to my full potential'

2018 marks Lewis' 12th season in F1 and sixth at Mercedes, making him one of the most experienced drivers on the grid. But, he feels he has a lot more to achieve in the sport.

"In my mind I'm trying to break down new barriers, push the envelope," he admitted. "Trying to see how far I can take, firstly, the opportunity I have and then obviously the ability I have and live to my full potential.

"I don't know what that is, and that's what I'm discovering. I'm sure there is a peak for drivers, when it starts to get harder to reach the fitness level that we do today.

"When your interest starts to decline, when your drive starts to decline, I guess that's when you're over your peak.

"But I definitely don't feel I'm that. I'm in a good range now and that's where I need to continue, to extract the most from it."

'I'm excited to see how we fare'

The start of a new season is always an intriguing time and Lewis is excited to see how the team and its rivals fare in Australia this weekend.

"Ultimately it's a privilege to be in Formula One," the Brit said. "It's a privilege to be racing for the team I'm racing for, with the heritage that they have, to be part of a sport that's progressing and changing with the times and to be at the forefront of it, competing against the best drivers you can compete against.

"When you come to the end of your career, you want to know that you competed against the best. The ultimate goal is to be the best and I think you have to go up against the best.

"It's been a great experience to be able to race against Sebastian and I think this is an exciting year for Formula One fans, being that we have two four-time World Champions battling it out.

"But, Daniel's been smiling quite a lot today so I think you're going to be surprised just how competitive Red Bull are this weekend.

"There's a lot of hype around our team, for example, which I think is difficult to take much notice of because the last test was a little bit distorted with the track the way it was and everyone was on different fuel loads. So, I'm excited to see how we all fare up once we get into practice."