Even though there were initial concerns that Lewis Hamilton was perhaps too young to make the step up through the ranks of Formula 1 and its junior series so quickly, former McLaren mechanic Marc Priestley has revealed that he instantly saw what was a "special" performer when Hamilton was promoted.
In Hamilton's debut season he had the task of driving alongside and competing with Fernando Alonso at McLaren, and though this may have proved daunting to some young stars, Priestley claims the Brit looked the real deal from the moment he came into the team.
"I worked at McLaren when there were stories that Lewis Hamilton would be promoted," Priestley told Autosport.
"He was not yet a Formula One driver at the time and was active in GP2.
"When we heard that he would most likely be promoted, we all thought he was not a little too young? And many people did not even know who he was.
"Upon arrival, it soon became clear that Lewis was a special boy. He was super young, but incredibly fast. The most extraordinary thing was that he immediately knew that he had to deal with the pressure.
"Sure, a number of things did not go well, but many things did. In his second season, he was already world champion, not many people can say that."
Hamilton would go on to win the championship in just his second season in Formula 1 in 2008, and in 2018 celebrated his fifth title which put him alongside Juan Manuel Fangio's tally, and two behind the record held by Michael Schumacher.
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