F1 team boss Ron Dennis has admitted that McLaren chiefs toyed with the idea of giving Lewis Hamilton a lower-profile debut next year.
It is rumoured that the GP2 champion, who will race alongside Fernando Alonso in 2007, was the subject of extensive negotiations between his management and Spyker, but Dennis ultimately decided to sign him up to drive for the Woking based team.
“We were mindful of the risk that Lewis could go somewhere else and take in a lot of bad advice that could seriously compromise all the hard work we have put into him,” the 59-year-old Briton is quoted as recently telling the Spanish press.
21-year-old Hamilton’s father, Anthony, clearly supports Dennis’ decision to gamble on his son’s services next year, after revealing to ‘The Voice’ that he sustained an injury upon hearing the good news.
“I pulled a muscle in my leg jumping when I saw him on the television,” he grinned.
Anthony Hamilton added: “I thought, ‘That can’t be real’. The pain was worth it though!”
Hamilton’s father also praised Dennis’ long time devotion to his son.
“If Ron hadn’t stepped in we wouldn’t be here right now. I had a family that didn’t have much money and I couldn’t afford to risk spending the thousands of pounds on motor racing that you have to.”