2017 will be painful for everyone, predicts Hamilton

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Lewis Hamilton has said that he expects to find the 2017 Formula One world championship a painful experience, as a result of the new tyre and downforce regulations being brought in that should see cars lapping up to three or four seconds faster.

That means the drivers are going to be experiencing more violent forces on their bodies than ever before, and Hamilton said that he's sure he will be feeling the effects.

"Whoever it is, it doesn't matter how fit you are and how hard you trained, you get in that car and it beats the crap out of you - it just does," Hamilton told reports this week, as Mercedes launched its new W08 hybrid.

"There'll be a muscle you didn't even know you had, deep down under your rib cage, and you're like 'what the hell?'

Hamilton is due to get his first proper taste of the new car this week at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, where all the teams are participating in four days of pre-season testing.

Hamilton's new Mercedes team mate Valtteri Bottas will be behind the wheel of the car on Monday morning, with Hamilton getting his turn in the afternoon.

"After the first day I'll know exactly where I'm weak," Hamilton predicted. "Through those testing days you figure those weak areas out."

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Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes