Hamilton's promotion to F1 for 2007 was a shock inside McLaren team

A new book released this week offers insight into the surprise inside McLaren when members of the team learned that Lewis Hamilton was being promoted to Formula 1 in 2007

Hamilton's promotion to F1 for 2007 was a shock inside McLaren team

Hamilton, now a four-time world champion, was famously signed to partner Fernando Alonso at McLaren in '07 as a rookie after winning the GP2 title the year before.

While he made an instant impact, battling with Alonso on his debut in Australia on his way to a podium finish, winning for the first time in just his sixth start in Canada, and fighting for the title until the final race, before the year began it was impossible to know how well he would perform.

Former McLaren mechanic Marc Priestley, who has released a book about his time in F1, said the news of Hamilton's imminent arrival came as a shock inside the team.

"I remember working at McLaren when talk of Lewis Hamilton started arising," he said.

"He wasn't a Formula 1 driver at that point, he was working in GP2, but he was starting to ruffle feathers, he was starting to be noticed by the Formula 1 fraternity.

"I remember people talking about him coming into McLaren as the next Formula 1 driver, and at the team we thought 'Wow, this is crazy, this is just a young kid' - not many people had even heard of him at that point.

"When he turned up, however, it was pretty clear he was a special kid. He was very very young, but he was super quick in a racing car."

shares
comments
Sergio Perez: Force India Formula 1 team must drop team orders now

Previous article

Sergio Perez: Force India Formula 1 team must drop team orders now

Next article

Max Verstappen wants to dominate F1 grands prix not battle for wins

Max Verstappen wants to dominate F1 grands prix not battle for wins
Load comments
The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1 Plus

The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Plus

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. DAMIEN SMITH brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Plus

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus Plus

How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

Formula 1
Sep 21, 2021
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Plus

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2021
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Plus

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says STUART CODLING

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Plus

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Plus

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021