Lewis Hamilton is targeting a double-whammy in Formula One this year by emulating the title feat of hero Ayrton Senna and signing a bumper new pay deal with Mercedes.

Hamilton finally won his second world championship last season, six years after claiming his debut crown in 2008 - doing so in dominant fashion by winning 11 of the 19 grands prix.

But, to be recognised as one of the sport's greats, it is generally accepted three is the magic number.

For Hamilton, that would see him not only match the haul of Senna, but also join Sir Jackie Stewart as the most successful Briton in F1 history.

"Ayrton won three, and growing up the greats had three," Hamilton said.

"I've always said since I joined Formula One that I wanted to emulate Ayrton, and that is with the three world championships.

"When you think of the car he drove and the team he drove for, the style in which he won races and the way he connected with people.

"So it would be pretty awesome to do that (win a third title) and I am massively driven for this next one.

"Who knows how long it will take? But one thing is for sure, and which gives me a lot of confidence, is I know there is no other team that could give me a greater opportunity, with greater potential."

In light of the last remark, it is certain the 30-year-old will sign a new deal at some point this season, and with negotiations now under way.

Talks were put on hold last year to allow Hamilton, now in the final 12 months of a three-year deal, to focus on his championship bid.

Although Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff suggested there would be an early resolution once the season had finished, it never transpired as the duo went their separate ways.

Wolff was also being pestered at that stage by Fernando Alonso, who was trying to engineer his way into a move for 2016 should Hamilton turn his back on Mercedes.

But now negotiating his own contract as he is without management, Hamilton is confident discussions will not drag on nor prove a distraction.

"Last year there was excitement at one point to get it done around Russia, but I said, 'guys, this is the most important period of my life. I don't want to think of anything else'," Hamilton said.

"Contracts and stuff can be stressful as anything, so I was telling them all I wanted to do was win the championship.

"I didn't want to get to the end of the season and I'd have a new contract but I'd not won the championship.

"So I said, 'let's leave it to the end, I'm not speaking to anyone else and I know you're being called by a certain individual (Alonso), but I'm solely focused on things so I won't be making any calls'.

"So we left it until the end of last year, but then we didn't see one another.

"The plan hasn't changed, though, as to what we would like to do, from both the perspective of the team and myself.

"I'm still under contract this year so we've time. It's not something I have to rush to satisfy anyone else. We just have to make sure it works for the both of us.

"The confidence we give each other is that they want to continue with me and vice-versa, but it's been like that for ages.

"But we're in talks and in the near future it will be sorted."

Hamilton will step behind the wheel of this year's title-challenging car on the second day of the first pre-season test in Jerez on Tuesday.

He will be hoping for as trouble-free a day as team-mate Nico Rosberg, who racked up 157 laps on Sunday - a new F1 record for the first day of a test.