Lewis Hamilton has likened his 'hunger' to lift his first Formula 1 World Drivers' Championship crown to that of Rafael Nadal chasing his maiden Wimbledon men's singles tennis trophy on the same day that the McLaren-Mercedes star so memorably triumphed in the British Grand Prix two weeks ago.

Following his tremendous Silverstone success - when the home hero quite literally pulverised the opposition on his way to recording the most dominant victory since Damon Hill prevailed by the margin of two laps at Adelaide back in 1995 - Hamilton said he tuned into Nadal's epic, see-saw encounter at the All England Club, in which the clay court specialist triumphed over defending five-time champion and Wimbledon expert Roger Federer at the end of the longest men's singles final in the tournament's history.

Comparing the beaten world number one - a man regarded as virtually untouchable on grass, and who had defeated his Spanish adversary in the final in the two previous years - to seven-time F1 World Champion Michael Schumacher, Hamilton also revealed that he discerned in Nadal the same desire and inspiration that he hopes will lead him to the 2008 drivers' laurels at only his second attempt, having agonisingly missed out on glory by a sole point at the end of his debut season in 2007.

"The game went on for so long," the 23-year-old is quoted as having said by international news agency Reuters. "I only caught the last half an hour, and that was long enough for me.

"I thought Federer was going to win - not because I'm biased, but because I know him and he is a fantastic athlete who has achieved so much - but I knew Nadal was hungry for it.

"Nadal had something new. He had even more hunger, and it is impossible to match that once you have won it a lot of times. Nadal had never tasted it, and for me I can probably identify with his hunger to win that first title.

"I've had the hunger since I was five or six-years-old. It's always been there, and I think [it] always will be. That hunger within me is definitely greater this year after what happened to me last year. I'm even more hungry to win at Monaco and Silverstone again next year - that's a positive thing for me."

The Stevenage-born ace currently sits tied atop the drivers' points table with Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa following his standout Silverstone performance, and with three victories already under his belt this season, he is clearly bidding to claim another one in the German Grand Prix this weekend - on McLaren engine supplier's Mercedes' home turf at Hockenheim. Not that he admitted to not having any nerves, however.

"They are never nerves thinking you might fail," he explained. "They are of excitement, with the adrenaline pumping.

"It's about whether you will get the start perfect [and] what will happen in the first corner, because it's an unknown. You've no clue as to what will happen.

"Do you go left or right? Do you brake early or late? Will you get hit from behind? Do you get a flat tyre? There are so many questions, and that's the exciting thing about it.

"I've had [pre-race nerves] since I started racing, and every time it's the same before a race. I have the same excitement, and as long as I have that always I will keep on doing what I'm doing.

"I know how to get myself into the zone, but every time it is a different feeling, a different emotion, a different nerve.

"It is always different, and that's the cool thing. Every race of my life has been different, every single one, and I've had a lot of races."