Hamilton rejects Coulthard warning

Wed, 29 November 2006, 08:45

Lewis Hamilton has dismissed suggestions that he is not ready to make his Formula One debut in 2007.

Following the 21-year-old rookie’s appointment by McLaren as teammate to world champion Fernando Alonso next year, Scottish veteran David Coulthard told the British tabloid ‘News Of The World’ that the role could ‘destroy’ Hamilton’s confidence.

Testing for the first time as a confirmed race driver at the Circuit de Catalunya on Tuesday, Hamilton told reporters that he ‘valued’ 35-year-old Coulthard’s view.

“(Coulthard) is extremely experienced and I have always looked up to him. In some ways he could be right but I’ve done all I need to do coming up to F1,” he said.

Hamilton, as the reigning F3 Euroseries champion, won the GP2 title at his first attempt in 2006 but felt the force of the British press this week when journalists compared his Caribbean ancestry to the career of groundbreaking golfer Tiger Woods.

British journalists on Tuesday then went into excessive detail of a minor engine mapping problem on Hamilton’s car that was quickly resolved.

He was also eight tenths slower than team colleague Pedro de la Rosa, leading the Spanish press to conclude that the wrong driver had been selected to race in 2007.

Hamilton said: “The pressure comes with the sport. It’s part of the environment and I will get used to it.

“I want to win but there is no pressure on me to (win) straight away. The team know I am young and it will take some time for me to get up to speed and learn.”


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