Looking back 2007-2008: Hamilton the phenomenal rookie

25-02-2020 08:18 | Updated: 25-02-2020 08:38
by Matt Gretton
General
Looking back 2007-2008: Hamilton the phenomenal rookie

GPblog delves into the history of Formula 1. In the first part we looked at the dominance of Ferrari and Schumacher before switching focus to look at Alonso and Renault in the second part. Periods that worked out very well for both teams, but in 2007 a rookie came into play that has since become an absolute world star: Lewis Hamilton. 

A dream debut

For every athlete, it is a dream to perform at the very best with his or her debut. A football player wants to score immediately in his first game, while a tennis player wants to knock out a favourite in a major tournament. A driver naturally wants to finish right on the podium. In Formula 1 it is rare that debuting drivers end up on the podium in the first race, but Hamilton succeeded.

He was third in Australia, but that is no reason to complain. McLaren immediately got value for his money, because the Briton proved his driving skills in an excellent way by finishing second. He kept repeating that three races afterwards and then there was the magic moment in Canada: Hamilton was first in his sixth Formula 1 race, and he did it again one race later.

His first season is also characterised by exceptionally good performances, as he would be the first to cross the finish line twice in the 2007 season. As a rookie, a masterly achievement and that was also evident in his position at the end of the season: second in the championship.

Near championship

In those years Formula 1 used a different point system and that caused a lot of tension towards the end of the championship. Lewis Hamilton was in first place for a while after the Spain Grand Prix, but in the end, it was a battle between him, Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen. The latter managed to become champion with only one point difference compared to Hamilton and Alonso.

The bad luck of Hamilton was that, with a large lead in points and two races to go, he got stuck in the grave at the Chinese pit entrance with worn tires during the Chinese Grand Prix. The championship was not yet lost, but due to some unfortunate events in the last race, he fell back a bit and with a fifth-place he was unable to cash in on his phenomenal year.

This article originally appeared on GPblog.com/nl written by Lennard Verhage 

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