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Last Updated: Monday, 11 June 2007, 07:31 GMT 08:31 UK
Walker tips Hamilton for F1 title
Lewis Hamilton
There aren't enough superlatives for what Lewis is doing race after race

Walker on Hamilton
Murray Walker believes Briton Lewis Hamilton can win the Formula One World Championship in his first season.

Hamilton, 22, continued the astonishing start to his McLaren career with a win in the Canadian Grand Prix on Sunday, his sixth straight podium finish.

And Walker, who commentated on the sport for 52 years, told BBC Five Live: "He is quite astounding.

"It's more than feasible that he could win the championship this year, which would be incredible."

606: DEBATE
RR

The young Englishman now leads the drivers' championship by eight points from team-mate and reigning champion Fernando Alonso.

And Walker added: "There aren't enough superlatives for what Lewis is doing race after race.

"It is unprecedented in the history of Formula One. I've been watching Formula One since it began and I have never seen anything like this in my life, it is quite incredible.

"But let's not forget if he did not have the right car or the right infrastructure, he wouldn't be able to exploit his natural talent. It takes two to make a bargain."

Hamilton's incredible start to his career prompted PR expert Johnno Spence to tip him to become one of the top-10 earning sportsmen in the world.

The only thing that worries me about Hamilton's situation is the pressure he is getting from the media

Murray Walker

Financial rewards from sponsorship deals alone could net the rookie driver up to 10m in his first season and Spence said: "Lewis could become one of the top earning sportsmen within a few years.

"He's shown he's among the top three or four drivers in the world and is already worth millions."

Hamilton also turned his attentions to the title after his win in Canada, saying: "The next dream is to win the world championship.

"But we have to be realistic. There'll be good days and there'll be bad days but at the moment I'm pretty consistent and that's down to the team and the fact I've got a very well grounded family."

However, Walker sounded a word of caution and urged the media not to pile too much pressure onto the youngster.

"The only thing that worries me about Hamilton's situation is the pressure he is getting from the media," he said. "With the British Grand Prix coming up the press will go berserk.

"We mustn't go overboard too soon, he's driven in six F1 races but to rank him with other greats would be much, much too early."

  • The British Grand Prix at Silverstone on 8 July is heading for a sell-out after a surge of public interest in the wake of Hamilton's victory.

    The Silverstone website and British Grand Prix booking line were inundated on Monday with the result that general access tickets have sold out and only grandstand tickets remain.

    "We haven't seen this level of interest since (Nigel) Mansell-mania in the late 1980s and early 1990s," said Richard Phillips, managing director of Silverstone Circuits Ltd.



    SEE ALSO
    Hamilton takes maiden F1 victory
    10 Jun 07 |  Formula One
    Hamilton hails 'historic' victory
    10 Jun 07 |  Formula One
    Sky's the limit for Hamilton
    10 Jun 07 |  Formula One
    Hamilton 'could become best ever'
    18 Apr 07 |  Formula One
    Young, gifted and black
    23 Mar 07 |  Magazine
    Changing the face of Formula One
    24 Nov 06 |  Formula One


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