Debate: Can Lewis Hamilton be world champion?

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren-Mercedes, Bahrain, 2007, 21. Fernando Alonso, 22pts, 1 win, 1 second, 1 fifth
2. Kimi Raikkonen, 22 pts, 1 win, 2 thirds
3. Lewis Hamilton, 22 pts, 2 seconds, 1 third

Lewis Hamilton has finished all three of his first Grands Prix on the podium. An earlier switch onto hard tyres at Bahrain could quite conceivably have seen him win the race.

For the first time since Jacques Villeneuve in 1996, F1 has a rookie championship contender. But could Hamilton become a rookie champion?

Perhaps even more remarkable about his Bahrain drive was that he consummately out-raced team mate Fernando Alonso in a way that the Spaniard’s past team mates rarely have.

He has soaked up pressure on the track from rivals and off the track from the press.

He will, surely, at some point, make a rookie mistake. But so far he’s demonstrated the same combination of qualifying speed, consistent race pace, and exceptional race craft that has seen him win championships in the last two years – GP2 and the F3 Euroseries.

Can he be F1 champion in his first ever season?

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16 comments on Debate: Can Lewis Hamilton be world champion?

  1. There’s no reason why he shouldn’t be a contender for the championship – and consistancy will be the key.

    The elusive first win will, presumably, not be far away. I think he feels the pressure in a different way – and hope the press won’t get on his back if it takes a few more races to achieve his first win.

    Once he starts winning, he’ll definately be a candidate for World champion.

  2. Hamilton is the real deal and, I believe, will contend for the title this year.

  3. Seems to me he is a contender already – joint leadership of the championship makes him that, surely? As to whether he can be champion at the end of the year, there is no reason why not. If he keeps scoring, he’ll be in with a chance.

    Not that I expect him to win, however. The lad is so well-prepared for F1 that I can see him happily deferring to Alonso when necessary for the Spaniard’s championship chances. Lewis knows that his turn will come – next year, probably.

  4. For the first time since Jacques Villeneuve in 1996, F1 has a rookie championship contender. But could Hamilton become a rookie champion?

    What about 1950 ? :P , everyone was a rookie :D

  5. Humberto said on 16th April 2007, 15:25

    Yeah. Hamilton can be world champion but not this year. My opinion, of course.
    Despite being a talented driver I guess Lewis has not enough experience. Also, he’s not alone in this ‘fight’, there are at least 3 contenders to compete with him for the championship.

    Regarding being the first rookie to reach at the podium in the last three races, we can’t forget that most of rookies begin in small teams.

    Regards.

  6. Where i live in marlow, buckinghamshire,england i see quite a few celebrities and i ask them politely can i have your autograph,the celebrities in question are Sir rolf harris, erika jonnson, takumo sato rowan ackinson, and many more if i am not a supporter i dont bother asking them, but some can be arrognant and some are pleasant, you just have to approach them very carefully after all some well known faces forget with us fans they are nobody so really how much pressure there is when they see a load of fans or just a couple they should just give in and sign the book or a piece of paper.

  7. Will Hamilton contend? If he starts picking up wins, he will.

    (Even if he spends all year getting seconds and thirds, he’s got a hell of a career ahead of him.)

  8. First he must be better than his team mate, or at least convince his team he is better. There is much pressure on Alonso to beat Hamilton than on Hamilton to beat Alonso. This may be an advantage for Lewis…

    He can win it, and he better takes the chance while it is there. Nobody knows when will McLaren again build car capable of winning the titles or when again he will find himself in a team that can win … Kimi missed that chance in McLaren once and never came close again …

  9. Number 38 said on 17th April 2007, 17:41

    A FACT that seems to be overlooked here is most ANYONE in this years Mclaren could have scored the same points as Hamilton has. I think we ought to trade him with Kovalanien in the Renault and see if the hype continues! Never before has a rookie come on the scene in a GREAT WINNING CAR! Kimi in this years McLaren may have three wins. There’s too much hype …..
    Hammy is just average but came along at the right time and right place. He won the draw…..let him enjoy it!

  10. On the evidence so far, yes, he could.

    But its not the way I’d bet. I doubt he’ll match Alonso over a whole season, and even if he does, I think the Ferrari might be marginally the quicker car.

    Forced to choose, I’d go for Raikkonen

  11. Journeyer said on 29th April 2007, 5:21

    F1 Champion? Probably!

    This year? Probably not.

    He’s really good, but talent is not the only ingredient in a championship challenge. He needs luck and experience too. He sure has a good amount of luck right now, but there’s no way he can make up for his deficit in experience fast enough.

    He’ll make a couple of mistakes this year, but the absolute speed of Alonso and Raikkonen means he won’t win enough, so he won’t be champion… for now.

    But who will be champ this year then? If Lewis fades fast when they get to Europe (pretty unlikely – these are the tracks he ALREADY knows), Alonso, as undisputed No. 1, will have a slight edge on the squabbling Kimi and Massa. But if Lewis stays in the picture, it’ll be all square between the 4 again, which means the driver’s title will go to who’s the absolute fastest of them all. Enter Kimi. :)

  12. marek de malek said on 2nd May 2007, 9:50

    Dude (Number 38, comment 9),
    How can anyone call Lewis Average???

    Compare Alonso and Fisi last year, Alonso is and excellent driver, Fisi is average.

    Now you have an excellent driver with a rookie teammate. And yet the teammate is tied with the excellent driver. Therefore simple logic suggests that the rookie must also be an excellent driver, its obvious…
    look at the margins between teammates in the past few years, Michael and Rubens, Alonso and Fisichella, Kimi and Montoya. They all had pretty fast cars but there was almost always a huge performance gap between the excellent driver in the team and the almost excellent or average driver…
    All you have to do is look at how Lewis has dominated previous racing classes and you cannot deny that he is brilliant.
    Average my foot!

    Lewis wil place AT LEAST in the top three for the championship at the years end…

    GO LEWIS!!!

  13. V for Valdetta said on 12th May 2007, 16:36

    Nice topic guys! Interesting to see how the season will unfold as well. As far as Lewis is concerned, I don’t think it’s a matter of opinion. He already is a championship contender!!!! There’s no ignoring that. Whether or not he’ll endure the season maintaining the pace, I think it’s possible. If anything, his career and acendancy into F1 has proven that the faster the car he gets,the better he drives. There’ll be some doubters and detractors but he needs them just as much as supporters to keep him going. I think the debate should be “How soon will Lewis be knighted”.

  14. V for Valdetta said on 12th June 2007, 2:34

    Well lads. I think it’s safe to say he’s well on his way. Amidst all the madness yesterday, accidents, Alonso fooling around etc. He managed to keep his composure and maintained pace, setting fast laps and so on. I don’t think there should be any doubt at this point that he’s got what it takes. As the grandson of a Grenadian immigrant myself, I can assure you he’s got a lot more…
    Cherrio!

  15. After week 6 and a 10 point lead, are the nay sayers still convinced he wont take the title this year?

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