Hamilton is team leader

Hamilton is team leader

LONDON – McLaren believe Lewis Hamilton can lead them to the Formula One title next season and have dropped a strong hint that Fernando Alonso’s replacement will come from within the team.

“Lewis is now an absolutely proven product. He can lead a team and he can be the talisman that can take us to a championship,” Britain’s Autosport Web site (www.autosport.com) quoted McLaren’s chief executive Martin Whitmarsh as saying on Thursday.”Consequently, there’s not a lot of difficulty for the team – we already have within the team two very competitive and great drivers in the form of Pedro de la Rosa and Gary Paffett,” he added.”We’ve got to find people who are better than them, and that’s not easy.”There aren’t many drivers in the world who you could say are materially better than those two, and we’re mindful of the stability that using drivers who are already within the team brings us.”De la Rosa, 36, is the official reserve driver and took a second place in 2006 when he replaced Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya for eight races.He and Briton Paffett have been testing for McLaren in Spain in recent weeks.Nampa-ReutersHe can lead a team and he can be the talisman that can take us to a championship,” Britain’s Autosport Web site (www.autosport.com) quoted McLaren’s chief executive Martin Whitmarsh as saying on Thursday.”Consequently, there’s not a lot of difficulty for the team – we already have within the team two very competitive and great drivers in the form of Pedro de la Rosa and Gary Paffett,” he added.”We’ve got to find people who are better than them, and that’s not easy.”There aren’t many drivers in the world who you could say are materially better than those two, and we’re mindful of the stability that using drivers who are already within the team brings us.”De la Rosa, 36, is the official reserve driver and took a second place in 2006 when he replaced Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya for eight races.He and Briton Paffett have been testing for McLaren in Spain in recent weeks.Nampa-Reuters

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