Lewis Hamilton’s astonishing debut season continues. Having come third in his debut and runner up in his next four races, he has now won his first Formula 1 Grand Prix (the Canadian GP on Sunday). He currently heads the driver’s world championship, eight points ahead of his McClaren- Mercedes team mate Fernando Alonso.
Veteran commentator (and gaffe generator) Murray Walker believes that Hamilton is capable of winning the World Championship in his first season. Walker, who commentated on the sport for 52 years, told the BBC: "He is quite astounding. It's more than feasible that he could win the championship this year, which would be incredible....It is unprecedented in the history of Formula One. I've been watching Formula One since it began and I have never seen anything like this in my life, it is quite incredible. “
Hamilton's incredible start to his career has prompted PR expert Johnno Spence to tip him to become one of the top-10 earning sportsmen in the world. Financial rewards from sponsorship deals alone could net the rookie driver up to £10m in his first season.
Hamilton said after his win in Canada, saying: "The next dream is to win the world championship but we have to be realistic. There'll be good days and there'll be bad days but at the moment I'm pretty consistent and that's down to the team and the fact I've got a very well grounded family."
Walker did sound a word of caution and urged the media not to pile too much expectation on Hamilton: "The only thing that worries me about Hamilton's situation is the pressure he is getting from the media/With the British Grand Prix coming up the press will go berserk. We mustn't go overboard too soon, he's driven in six F1 races but to rank him with other greats would be much, much too early."
Interest in the British Grand Prix at Silverstone on 8 July has been enormous and is heading for a sell-out after a surge of public interest ."We haven't seen this level of interest since Mansell-mania in the late 80s and early 90s," said Richard Phillips, managing director of Silverstone Circuits Ltd.
Hamilton has had a magnificent start to his Formula 1 career and a world championship in his rookie year is not a pipe dream. However, there are 11 races to go and a lot can happen between now and the season’s finale at Interlagos in Brazil in October.