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. I am. Ferrari usually do better in Europe than America, so I think Massa, if not Raikkonen as well, will be back with Hamilton. If Alonso can calm down enough to take the long view the way he did in 2005 and 2006, he’ll be able to beat Hamilton. In short, the only way I can see Hamilton winning the championship is if the other three contenders take so many points off each other that Lewis’ constant podiums wear away the other drivers’ title hopes. That said, Lewis has done himself a lot of credit already this year, and I’ve no doubt he’ll finish in the top three. Just not in the top one – yet.

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