Lewis Hamilton has become the 2006 GP2 Champion at Monza yesterday. Although Hamilton only finished third in the race, winner Giorgio Pantano had his fastest lap taken away from him as it was set under yellow flags. This gave Lewis an extra point and this means he has beaten his rival, Nelson Piquet Jnr.
Ron Dennis – Team Director of McLaren F1 – refused to be led into questions on his driver line up next year, but did have praise for his 21 year old protege:
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.
Lewis has an exceptional talent, which has been demonstrated this year, and his overall performance during the season gives you a definite sense of pride and satisfaction.
In due course the team’s and Lewis’s plans for 2007 will be announced.
Hamilton is said to be pleased that the season long battle with Nelson Piquet Jnr was finally over, and is jubilant at his success.
With Kimi Raikkonen expected to be at Ferrari next year, Ron Dennis has a tough decision to make for his 2007 drivers. McLaren currently have Fernando Alonso, Pedro De La Rosa, Lewis Hamilton and Gary Paffett available for next year, and while it is possible for Kimi to remain at the Woking squad, it is unlikely.
Ron would do very little wrong in keeping Pedro in the car. The Spaniard has done well since taking over from the departing Juan Pablo Montoya, and has shown the team that he is a safe pair of hands. But the temptation to put a young, motivated charger in the second seat must be strong. Only time will tell I guess…
Photo courtesy of Motorsport.com.