Rookie Hamilton says pace ‘close’ to Alonso

Fri, 9 February 2007, 12:24

On the last day of dry running at Jerez this week, McLaren rookie Lewis Hamilton pipped his illustrious teammate Fernando Alonso to emerge as the silver camp’s quickest race driver.

The English youngster seemed pleased with the feat when he spoke in an interview with the Spanish newspaper ‘Marca’.

“It is difficult to read too much into it because we are doing different things, but we are close together,” 22-year-old Hamilton said.

“It was a good day for me, but I have worked hard every day so far (this winter) and these are the results.”

Lewis, however, toed McLaren’s new party-line in denying that the Mercedes-powered team possesses clearly the best performing 2007 car on the winter tracks.

He insisted: “There are many things that we still have to do before we get to the first race, that is for sure.”

Hamilton also rejected suggestions that Alonso, just three years his senior but with six years more experience in the F1 paddocks, can be his “teacher” throughout ’07.

“I would not say that he is my teacher,” the Briton started, “but, for sure, I can learn from him.

“For example, his (telemetry) data; I am already able to see where I am losing out to Fernando and where I can improve.

“Anyway, we are getting along really well — I don’t feel nervous around him, we chat about the car and the changes we are making. We are working well together.”


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