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New Drivers

It is that time of year when everyman and his dog get to try out for Formula One. This year there are some interesting prospects, however, the most-trumpeted being Lewis Hamilton, McLaren’s hope for the future.

Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis has been driving the McLaren F1 car in tests at Silverstone and cannot wipe the grin off his face. In interviews, he has been speaking of his delight at the prospect of driving such machinery, yet has remained level-headed and kept everything in perspective. Thus far, he looks like the ideal F1 candidate, with a record in other forms of racing that speaks of his abilities and a willingness to learn as fast as he can.

Whether Lewis gets the second McLaren seat or even the test driver role for next year remains to be seen. Although he insists that there is no pressure to produce quick lap times at Silverstone, it is inevitable that his performance there will count towards any decision by the team. I have the feeling that he will do well and may not have to serve an apprenticeship in another team before joining McLaren.

Sebastian Vettel has been impressing at BMW Sauber and will be their test driver at the Chinese Grand Prix. There are complications in that he is backed by Red Bull, however, and he still has to compete in the remaining races in the F3 Euroseries, the championship being undecided as yet. His speed in testing has been enough to make him one to watch in future and BMW seem very interested in retaining his services beyond China.

Elsewhere, it appears that Klien is clean out of a drive in F1 for next year. Spyker are evaluating younger drivers and have no place for him and his options seem to have run out. His brave decision to turn down Red Bull’s offer of Champ cars in the hope of staying in F1 looks a bit unwise now.

Talking of Spyker, their new livery has been revealed and orange is back in F1, thanks to the Dutch owners. The car looks better in the new and more co-ordinated colors and commentators will be relieved that there is no longer a danger of their mistaking the old MF1 cars for McLarens. Hopefully, this is a good sign and the Spykers will continue to move up the grid in the future.

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