Winning back-to-back World Championships are always difficult, but Lewis Hamilton feels he will have an even bigger handicap next season following the introduction of several cost-cutting measures.
Besides the new aero rules, introduction of KERS and the return of slicks, the FIA last week announced additional changes to Formula One for 2009 in an attempt to dramatically slash costs.
Hamilton, who won the title by the narrowest of margins this year, admits the changes will make it a lot tougher to retain his Drivers' Championship crown next season.
"I don't think it will make it easier," the McLaren driver is quoted by The Associated Press.
"With the new regulations it's going to make it very tough to win the Championship again."
The FIA was forced to announce the dramatic changes following Honda's withdrawal from F1 due to the global economic crisis. The key components of the changes that will come into effect will see savings on engine costs, a ban on in-season testing outside grand prix weekends and a reduction in staff numbers.
The 23-year-old, though, is banking on his McLaren team to pull together and be difference to winning and losing the Championship.
"We have less testing obviously but I think we as a team are in a position to pull together and make a difference in some other way," Hamilton said. "But everyone's in the same boat.
"It's amazing how many different things happen in a year but all we're thinking about is how we can continue in the sport and continue to put on a good show. How we can move forward and continue to win as a team.
"We don't know who's going to be quick, surely we're going to be at the front, with Ferrari maybe, BMW, but you never know. Maybe there's going to be a fourth team up there with us."