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F1 NEWS 

Hamilton to begin Silverstone test today

Lewis Hamilton will join McLaren for testing at Silverstone today, as the team begin evaluating whether to hand him a 2007 race drive.

The GP2 champion will be given a two-day run at the British track, alongside Pedro de la Rosa, ahead of what is expected to be a more thorough outing at Jerez next month.

Should Hamilton impress in the tests, and maintain the momentum that helped him grab the GP2 title at Monza, then he could be confirmed as Fernando Alonso's teammate before Christmas.

Although McLaren have been under pressure to consider Hamilton for a race drive, the youngster is well aware that he must shine in testing if he is to get that chance straightaway.

Should the team feel that he would be better off having another year of preparation, then he could become a McLaren test driver for a season before getting a race chance in 2008.

McLaren F1 CEO Martin Whitmarsh does not hold back in his belief that Hamilton is a special talent though.

"He has done a great job and he has done everything we have asked of him in each championship he has been in," he said. "Just look at the results of the championship. His pedigree is fantastic and I am sure we will all witness him racing in F1 in the years to come."

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