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Hamilton will travel to Barcelona for testing with his McLaren team this week.
"We've got a lot of work to do," he said. "I would love to win again if I could but it's not as straightforward as it was last year."
Hamilton was accompanied at the palace by his father Anthony, brother Nicolas and stepmother Linda. His pop star girlfriend, Nicole Scherzinger of the Pussycat Dolls, was absent.
"She's on tour," Hamilton said. "She would have come for sure."
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