McLaren's new-signing Lewis Hamilton says he has got no qualms about racing alongside Fernando Alonso in his debut Formula One season.
Hamilton has been handed a golden chance to impress in 2007 by the team who have overseen his career for the past nine years. But he will face the unenviable task of racing against double world champion Alonso in exactly the same machinery.
Team boss Ron Dennis has already admitted that coping with Alonso will be one of Hamilton's biggest tasks, but the GP2 champion says he is actually going to relish the opportunity to compare himself with, and learn from, the Spaniard.
"In the first year it is going to be extremely tough, especially being alongside Fernando Alonso," said Hamilton. "But I am young, I am here to learn and I am dedicated to doing the best job I can. I will be working as hard as possible on and off track to get up to speed.
"Having the best driver alongside me is going to be the best position to be in. Having a two-time world champion, who is very experienced, very talented and a few years older than me, is great.
"He can give a lot to the team and I will be able to learn from him. I am looking forward to the challenge. I am ready for it and looking forward to the first race."
Dennis has made it clear that he does not want Hamilton to get too engrossed in trying to beat Alonso, and thinks the most important thing is for the youngster to show steady progress over the first part of the campaign.
"He should not be competing against his teammate, and he will have that as an advantage," said Dennis. "He doesn't have to be too obsessed by the competition, and can just focus on his own performance.
"As long as he is making constant progress in the first few races then he will be given time to blossom."
In terms of his realistic ambitions for the year, Hamilton has admitted that he is not going into F1 simply to make the numbers up - he wants to win. But he has vowed to take a considered approach to getting the job done.
"I think it is fair to say that McLaren are in it to win," he explained. "I am certain that they are going to have a car that is capable of running in the top three next year.
"I think with Alonso's input, the car is gong to be good next year, and we will all be very surprised. For me, I have just got to take it slow, take my time and enjoy the moment and learn as much as I can from Alonso.
"But I think as a target I would have to say like any driver - winning. You cannot say my target is to finish in 10th place. I race to win, so my target is to win a race at some point.
"Whether that is next season or the year after, I cannot say. Fingers crossed I will be able to get some good points for the team anyway."