London, Feb 27 (ANI): Formula One ace Lewis Hamilton is counting the days until he can launch his title bid.
Hamilton was eighth fastest on his penultimate day of pre-season testing for McLaren in Barcelona on Friday.
But he was far happier than rival Michael Schumacher who wrote off his chances of winning the season opener in Bahrain on March 14.
"Did he?" asked Hamilton. "I am a more positive kind of guy. I am going for it. I cannot wait for the first race. There are some seriously quick teams out there but it is difficult to know where we all are," The Sun quoted him, as saying.
The 2008 champion finished 1.5secs off the time of one minute 20.614 secs set by Williams' driver Nico Hulkenberg on the Circuit de Catalunya.
But Hamilton is confident that he is in far better shape than 12 months ago when he already knew his title hopes were over.
"I am much happier than I was this time last year. The car does feel light years ahead of how it was last year when we were way off the pace here. We are in a much stronger position but we have still got work to do," he said.
Seven-time champion Schumacher was one place ahead of Hamilton on the time sheets but insisted his Mercedes car would not challenge for the podium in Bahrain.
The German said: "We are not in the position we want to be for me to be competitive and win the first race. But we are working hard. And it is difficult to judge right now what is the real picture. You just do not know what fuel loads people are running." (ANI)