Next year’s Formula One season will see 21-year old GP2 champion Lewis Hamilton join Fernando Alonso as McLaren’s second driver. Hamilton has followed the guidance of McLaren chief Ron Dennis since the age of 13 and now the Brit moves into motorsports’ top echelon. It was previously thought that Mika Hakkinen could make a return or test driver Pedro de la Rosa may get the top job.
Instead, de la Rosa will remain as the team's full-time test driver despite racing a number of times after Juan Pablo Montoya left the team. Ron Dennis commented that "Pedro has done an outstanding job for us this season but we felt it was the right time to provide Lewis with this opportunity."
Hamilton, who also dominated the 2005 F3 Euro Series in a Dallara Mercedes by winning 15 out of 20 races, will start testing with the rest of the team for the 2007 season next week at the Circuit de Catalunya, in Barcelona. His debut will be at the opening round of the 2007 Formula One World Championship in Australia.