Lewis Hamilton growing up before our eyes

Lewis Hamilton leads F-1 in points going into Sunday's race. (AFP)

Lewis Hamilton leads F-1 in points going into Sunday's race. (AFP)

DEAN MCNULTY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:09 PM ET

When McLaren boss Ron Dennis signed a 13-year-old Lewis Hamilton to the team’s young driver support programme in 1998, it was generally thought of as something of a publicity stunt.

But as the young Hamilton kept winning in the lower levels of open wheel racing, folks started to pay attention to the young Briton.

Nine years later he made the jump to Formula 1 and in his first race — the Australian Grand Prix — Hamilton finished third and he was on his way.

The next season Hamilton won the world championship.

It was thought then he would do for F-1 in North America — particularly in the United States — what Tiger Woods was doing for golf, giving the sport mass appeal.

Unfortunately, Hamilton has yet to repeat the feat, his best finish after that was last season when he finished second behind Sebastian Vettel.


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