Hamilton on cusp of F1 history

Thu, 12 April 2007, 03:58

With another podium in Bahrain, Lewis Hamilton will enter F1’s history books.

The rookie Briton, already credited as being the first black driver on the grid, could on Sunday become the first ever rookie in the history of the sport to stand on the podium after each of his first three grands prix.

But, amid all the mainly British media hype, one of 22-year-old Hamilton’s on-track rivals has anonymously asserted that Lewis’ podium-filled debut has been more to do with the competitive McLaren MP4-22 than with the reigning GP2 champion himself.

The unnamed rival is quoted as saying in the Spanish newspaper Diario As: “Lewis has done a good job but in qualifying he is on average more than five tenths a lap away from (Fernando) Alonso.

“That’s slower than (Giancarlo) Fisichella was (alongside Alonso at Renault); and nobody raves about Giancarlo any more.”

A report in the Finnish newspaper Turun Sanomat, meanwhile, reveals that Hamilton flirted with physical disaster in the days before last Sunday’s hot Malaysian grand prix.

McLaren’s doctor Aki Hintsa said the Briton grappled with “big problems” during Friday’s free practice after ignoring medical advice.

“Lewis wasn’t able to perform well in the second session,” Hintsa said. “He was simply very exhausted.”

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