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Last Updated: Sunday, 10 September 2006, 09:29 GMT 10:29 UK
McLaren start Hamilton on F1 road
Lewis Hamilton
Hamilton has wrapped up the title with one race still to run
McLaren are to start new GP2 champion Lewis Hamilton on the path to Formula One by giving him a test in one of their cars this month.

McLaren boss Ron Dennis paid tribute to Hamilton's "exceptional talent" after he clinched the GP2 title with one race to go at Monza on Saturday.

It is still not known whether Hamilton, a long-time McLaren protege will race for the team in F1 next season.

But Dennis is expected to find him a drive somewhere on the F1 grid.

Dennis, who may prefer to stick with the experienced Pedro de la Rosa alongside new signing Fernando Alonso in 2007, said he was "pretty sure" Hamilton would test a McLaren before the Chinese Grand Prix on 1 October.

"Lewis has an exceptional talent... and his overall performance during the season gives you a definite sense of pride and satisfaction.

"The manner of his many outstanding performances this year, such as those at Silverstone and Turkey, has been phenomenal and he is a deserving champion."

Hamilton won the GP2 title after he was awarded the point given to the driver of the fastest lap at Saturday's race in Monza, Italy.

The point was initially awarded to race winner Giorgio Pantano before it was discovered he had set his fastest lap while yellow caution flags were waving.

Hamilton's third place meant he could not be overhauled in the standings.

Nelson Piquet Jr could have got the same number of points but the Englishman, 21, had more race wins.

Even that issue became academic when Pantano won the final race of the year on Sunday morning.

Northern Ireland driver Adam Carroll crashed out of the race with 10 laps to go while in contention for a points finish.

Hamilton will start the final race of the season, on Sunday, in sixth position because of the reverse grid system, with Piquet once place behind him in seventh.

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06 Aug 06 |  Motorsport
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27 May 06 |  Formula One

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