Lewis Hamilton has vowed to enjoy his season as reigning world champion, after focusing so intensely on his goal in 2008.

Lewis Hamilton has vowed to enjoy his season as reigning world champion, after focusing so intensely on his goal in 2008.

At an event for team sponsor Johnnie Walker in London, the McLaren driver admitted he sacrificed socialising as well as personally enjoying the grand prix destinations this year while he concentrated on securing his first title.

"Next year I am going to enjoy myself a little bit more," the 23-year-old Briton vowed at the event also attended by Mika Hakkinen, the last formula one driver to have won the title for McLaren.

Hamilton insisted, however, that he will still be able to race professionally in 2009.

"It doesn't mean I'm going to be partying all the time, it just means I will have more time with my friends and hopefully get to do more social things," he said.

Hamilton said he does not believe he will ever again feel the kind of intense pressure he experienced in Brazil last month, when he won the world championship from Ferrari's Felipe Massa with a last-corner pass.

"I feel a lot less pressure that's for sure, now that the country and the people know I can do it, so I think we'll see," he explained.

"There was so much pressure on me this year that I didn't go out, I didn't socialise, I stayed in my hotel every night of the race weekends.

"People say 'you get to travel to all these countries' but I never really get to see anything because I'm in my hotel room the whole time," Hamilton said.

"So I want to enjoy it more because I deserve to and I can do that as well as do a good job."

 

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