Find out more about our subscriptions

Hamilton surprised by interest in him

Lewis Hamilton says the biggest shock he has found in his first major test for McLaren has been the degree to which people are interested in him.

The GP2 champion will complete his second full day of testing for the team at Silverstone today, and could be put onto a tyre evaluation programme if he completes his familiarization with the F1 car.

But despite steadily getting to grips with things on track, he admits he never expected the huge media and public interest off it.

"There are a lot of people in the paddock and I am literally swamped with people wanting autographs every time I go between the garage, the truck and the hospitality unit," he said. "I have never experienced anything like it and never expected it to be like this.

"Unfortunately you just don't have the time to sign everything and make everybody happy as there is so much work to do with the engineers. But I hope I managed to make some people happy by signing something."

Hamilton confesses that the learning curve to adapt to the F1 car is 'steep' and says that he is still in a learning phase.

"There are so many things which are different from what I'm used to," he added. "The power, the feeling of the car, the speed, the controls and the list just goes on. I'm working well with the test team, the engineers and Pedro and am looking forward to continuing making progress.

"We are not focusing on times but just on getting me comfortable with everything. I'm sure at some point we will start looking at times but for now it really just is familiarisation."

  More news  
Read the AUTOSPORT Digital Edition
Visit the shop
See highlights from 60 years of AUTOSPORT
Paddock insight from group F1 editor Jonathan Noble
Grand Prix news updates from F1 editor Edd Straw
Breaking news feed
Live commentary feed
Interview: Hamilton savours first test
Q & A with Lewis Hamilton
Happy Hamilton can't stop smiling
Hamilton eager to start first full test
McLaren delay Hamilton test by a day
Hamilton to begin Silverstone test today