Lewis Hamilton is confident that the comparative lack of experience in McLaren's driver line-up will not have a negative effect on the team's ability to fight for this year's world championship.
With double world champion Fernando Alonso replaced this year by Heikki Kovalainen, McLaren's drivers have just two year's of F1 racing between them. That gives the outfit one of the least experienced line-ups in the field.
But speaking ahead of the first race of the season in Melbourne, Hamilton said that he did not believe this to be an issue.
"It has not been a problem and I don't think it will be," said the 23-year-old. "He [Heikki] has a great career under his belt already, he has a lot of experience, and we are both coming into our second year in F1.
"We have the same hunger for winning, so it is quite good. We are aiming in the same direction."
Hamilton added that the Finn has brought a new dimension to the McLaren team over the winter months and suggested that it had not taken long for him to fill to void left by Alonso.
"I don't feel there is a huge difference," Hamilton said when asked if he was disappointed that Alonso was not still with the team. "Heikki has been welcomed into the team as Fernando was, and obviously it is different when you have a two-time champion.
"When you come in and work with them (a champion), it is a privilege, so from that point of view it is a shame he is not there. But it is a new challenge for me and Heikki.
"You always learn something new from a different driver."
Despite the team's youthful line-up, Hamilton believes McLaren will begin the season in even stronger shape than 2007, and added that he was under less pressure to deliver than 12 months ago.
"[We have had] better preparation this year, we did the best job we could which was good. All the areas we could improve on we did," he said.
"I don't think there is more pressure, there is less pressure than last year. Last year was a huge build-up and a lot of weight and pain on my shoulders because no-one knew if I would do well.
"It is a different feeling now. I know what a season feels like and I am even hungrier. I am excited about racing, it has been too long a break. It feels like it has been forever since we raced last."