Lewis Hamilton: This is your press

Lewis Hamilton, MP4-22, McLaren LaunchThe hype starts here.

The McLaren-Mercedes MP4-22 was launched yesterday, and presented to the press along with drivers Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton.

It was the latter, of course, that grabbed the headlines in Britain:

“Meet F1’s Tiger Woods: Get up to speed with first black race ace Lewis Hamilton. And the good news is, he’s British.” (The Sun)
“Hamilton gets keys you his first car – but let’s just hope he didn’t park it like that” (The Times)
“Lew can be new F1 star” (The Star)
“Hamilton: I have to aim for Alonso” (Daily Express)
“Rookie Lewis is mad Fer it” (The Sun)

Lewis Hamilton Fernando Alonso, McLaren launch, 2007There’s a nice interview in The Sun, a cracking photograph in The Guardian, The Independent has an interesting photo-analysis page and there’s a smashing, colourful piece in The Daily Telegraph.

And, inevitably, another paper is already over-egging the pudding: “Lewis Hamilton is astonishing his team by testing quicker than double world champion Fernando Alonso.” Have either of them set much in the way of representative lap times in the new car? Do teams go testing in the winter to pit their drivers against each other? No and no.

But this is the kind of hype Hamilton will have to be aware of, and manage. There will undoubtedly be difficult times and it doesn’t take much for the press to turn on a British sportsman.

Good luck Lewis. You’re going to need it.

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