Sir Lewis Hamilton is preparing for yet another season at the top of Formula 1.
The seven-time champion will be hoping to go one better than Michael Schumacher this year by claiming his eighth world championship title.
The British superstar is once again the favourite for the title, with Mercedes looking to maintain their ruthless stranglehold over the silverware in F1.
There were, however, mounting doubts as to whether or not Hamilton would even compete for Mercedes in 2021.
Contract negotiations earlier in the year were fraught with bumps and hurdles, with the two parties struggling to come to an accord over a deal.
In the end, Hamilton signed on the dotted line, but there have been plenty of hints that he didn't get everything he was after.
The latest indication that Hamilton settled for a lesser deal came from Martin Brundle after he interviewed the 36-year-old ahead of the new season.
“We did a couple of features with him that we will play out through the year on Sky F1,” explained Brundle.
“He was very generous but a bit grumpy actually, I thought generally. It’s interesting that his right-hand man, Marc Hynes, is no longer working with him.
“I sensed he possibly wasn’t super-happy with the way the negotiations have worked out at Mercedes.”
“Once we got over that, I did say to him ‘you’re going to burst through 100 poles this year at some point, most likely’ and he went ‘why?’
“‘McLaren were a quarter of a second behind us in Abu Dhabi, now they’ve got our engine; what about Red Bull, maybe the high rake works; and don’t count out Ferrari, and the Aston Martin will be strong’.
“He sort of really challenged me quite hard and I said ‘well, you have got 98 of them, mostly in the hybrid era, you scored 10 last year – there’s half a chance you’ll get two more this year’."
Many fans hoping for a more competitive F1 environment will be hoping Hamilton's reservations ring true over the course of 2021.
With one of the best driver line-ups we've seen in many a year, Hamilton might actually have to break a sweat to land that mythical record.News Now - Sport News