Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

'Give Me the Chance to Show I'm Better Than Lewis Hamilton'; Jamie Green, the Brit Who Regularly Beat F1's New Young Sensation, Says He Can Still Overtake His Former Rival

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

'Give Me the Chance to Show I'm Better Than Lewis Hamilton'; Jamie Green, the Brit Who Regularly Beat F1's New Young Sensation, Says He Can Still Overtake His Former Rival

Article excerpt

FIVE podium finishes in his first five races as a Formula One rookie have established Lewis Hamilton as an instant celebrity with non-racing fans and a reputation within the sport as a driver rich with world championship potential.

If Hamilton, who is joint leader in the standings, finishes in the points in Montreal this weekend, he will join Jackie Stewart and Richie Ginther as the only drivers to have scored in all of their first six races as rookies.

Yet for all his obvious talent, Hamilton is not the only hot prospect that British motor racing has to offer.

Lucrative support from Ron Dennis, head of the McLaren team, fuelled Hamilton's rapid rise through the ranks. But Jamie Green, who regularly beat his British rival in junior forms of racing, was not so lucky.

Green's money ran out at a vital stage in his career and he has been forced to take a longer route to the top but he's determined to get there.

On Sunday, when Hamilton seeks a maiden F1 victory in the Canadian Grand Prix, Green will be aiming to prove a point in front of over 30,000 home supporters when he lines up on the grid at Brands Hatch for a round of the German Touring Car Championship (DTM).

In assessing the merits of Green's perception that he is worth a place at the top table, there seems to be more to his chagrin than a Marlon Brandostyle cry of "I coulda been a contender".

Just three years ago, he romped to the title in the Formula Three Euroseries a breeding ground of future F1 stars

leaving Canadian GP contenders Hamilton, Nico Rosberg and Robert Kubica trailing in his wake.

Yet while Hamilton, Rosberg (the son of former world champion Keke Rosberg), and Kubica found the money to go on and compete in GP2, the feeder championship into F1, Green searched in vain for the sponsorship that would have kept himin the spotlight.

He said: "I had a budget to race up to Formula Three, and I won that championship ahead of those other guys. Unfortunately I couldn't find the [pounds sterling]680,000 needed for one season in GP2. That's the way it goes in motor racing.

I'd competed against Lewis quite a lot, and I beat him in the British Formula Renault series before beating him in the Formula Three championship.

"But I've got no problems with what Lewis has gone on to achieve since then.

I'm certainly not bitter about it.

"People have said Lewis has been lucky because from a very young age he's had such a lot of support from Ron Dennis and McLaren. And that's true. He's never had to worry because the money has always been there for him to drive in the right teams, in the right categories of racing, and with the right equipment.

"But he's also had the burden of being known as McLaren's protege and a lot of pressure comes with that. …

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