McLaren hail GP2 champion Hamilton
MONZA, Italy, Sep 10 (Reuters) McLaren hailed protege Lewis Hamilton today after the 21-year-old Briton won the GP2 championship that serves as a feeder series to Formula One.
Mercedes-powered McLaren have yet to say who will partner world champion Fernando Alonso next year when the Spaniard moves from Renault but Hamilton has been strongly tipped for the coveted drive.
''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,'' team boss Ron Dennis said in a statement at the Italian Grand Prix.
''Lewis has an exceptional talent...and his overall performance during the season gives you a definite sense of pride and satisfaction,'' he added.
Hamilton, who clinched the GP2 title ahead of Brazilian Nelson Piquet junior on Saturday, is expected to test for McLaren later this month.
''I'm pretty sure he's testing before the Chinese race (on October 1),'' Dennis told reporters.
Hamilton, of West Indian parentage, has been groomed by McLaren for more than a decade and has won at every stage on the way to the threshold of Formula One.
REUTERS PM BST1410