|The Motor Sports Association, the governing body of UK motor sport, congratulates British driver Lewis Hamilton on being crowned the 2006 GP2 Champion and on his subsequent test with the McLaren-Mercedes Formula 1 team today.
Lewis, aged 21, secured the GP2 title at the recent Italian Formula 1 Grand Prix meeting at Monza. In total, he ended the season with 14 podium results from 22 rounds, including five race victories.
Today (Wednesday) he has conducted the first of two days of testing for the McLaren-Mercedes team on Silverstone`s British F1 GP circuit.
Lewis`s racing career started in the early Nineties when he set out on a hugely successful period racing karts in the UK. In 1996 and 1997 he won four UK karting titles and went on to be ranked number one in the world. It was also in the UK that he started his car racing career, moving into the Formula Renault UK category at the end of 2001. In 2003 he won that title with the Manor Motorsport team, which had previously taken Kimi Raikkonen to the same crown. Lewis then progressed into the Euroseries Formula 3 championship, which he also won in 2005.
Colin Hilton, Chief Executive of the MSA, says: "Everyone in British motor sport should celebrate Lewis`s superb achievements in GP2, particularly considering that this was his first season in the category and he was up against far more experienced drivers, some with F1 backgrounds.
"Nobody will forget the huge wave of public support that Lewis enjoyed when he did the double in front of his home crowd on British GP weekend at Silverstone in June.
“His championship success is proof again that the UK continues to produce world class motor sport champions and is also a great inspiration for every young driver racing on these shores.
"It is extremely fitting that his first full-blown test with the McLaren-Mercedes F1 team, that has supported his career since 1998, should come at Silverstone. Whether he races in F1 in 2007 remains to be seen, but the MSA is right behind him and wishes him the very best for his future career."