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Lewis Hamilton gets top billing in Canadian GP

The Canadian national newspaper, The Globe and Mail devotes five pages to wunderkind Lewis Hamilton, who has clocked five podium finishes in his first five Grand Prix. There’s no doubt who is the talking point of tomorrow’s Canadian GP.

But Hamilton has a problem. It goes back to Monaco when he seemed to be pulled back by team orders from Ron Dennis, the man who has nurtured his talent for 10 years. After the race, he spoke out perhaps more sharply than he meant to. His message? The Rubens Barrichello role is not for him. Barrichello is best remembered as Michael Schumacher’s deputy dawg at Ferrari. Despite being an excellent driver, in his native Brazil he’s regarded as a figure of fun.

Hamilton is not going down that road, “I think every weekend when I am matching Fernando’s times, if not doing better, I am demonstrating that I’ve got the ability to be a champion; to deserve at least to be equal with him. I’d hate the situation Rubens was in. If that was ever the case, I would not be here much longer.”

Some commentators are now suggesting that Ferrari’s weighty cheque book could tempt him to cross the pits to their camp. But this seems unlikely unless Dennis loses all sense of proportion and clamps down on his young protege, a move that would lose him a great deal of respect in his British heartland.

So how will Hamilton press his claims within the team? “That’s a good question,” he says. “I’ve got to remember the fact that I’m privileged to be part of such a wonderful team. I’d do anything for this team. I’ve bonded with the guys so well at testing and over the years I’ve been here. I believe I’ve got a special relationship, just because they’ve seen me grow up. They want me to win just as much I want to win for them. I don’t feel there is a need to get a special message across. They can see I’m doing a good job. I think when I do win they’ll be excited. Ron wants us both to win but two people can’t win. Monaco was just one race when it didn’t go in my favour, but in the future there will come a time when it will.”

In Friday’s practice sessions Alonso held the lead, but Hamilton pledged caution on his first attempts on this track. He’ll be faster in the race itself.

But so will the Ferrari duo on the Gilles Villeneuve circuit.

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