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I’m back at work, says Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton has already started preparations for the defence of his Formula One world title — in icy isolation in Finland.

Hamilton, who became the youngest world champion in F1 history just four weeks ago, is currently in the middle of a week-long intensive training camp.

The 23-year-old is being tested to the limit at the Kuortane Sports Institute in western Finland, a rigorous regime that has become an annual event on the team’s calendar for drivers and staff in recent years.

"Travelling to Finland for our winter training camp is one of the best weeks of the year for me," insisted Hamilton.

"It feels like you’re miles from anywhere and totally cut off from the outside world, which allows me to focus solely on my training, which is great.

"It’s certainly not an easy week as Finland in the winter is cold and icy, and we’re pushed hard for day after day.

"We spent the first part of the week doing tests to monitor our core strength and flexibility.

"Then we will spend the rest of the time building on specific exercises that will help us once we’re back in the car."

Although McLaren are to test at Jerez and a new circuit on the Algarve this month, Hamilton is unlikely to be back behind the wheel until the new year.

Given the new regulations — the re-introduction of slick tyres and radical aerodynamics — Hamilton will find the new model in complete contrast to the car in which he clinched his maiden crown.

"Brazil already seems a long time ago and I’m now focusing 100% on 2009," added Hamilton. "I’m really keen to get going."

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