Lewis Hamilton - World Champion 2007?Lewis Hamilton and McLaren have done an absolutely amazing job so far this season - much more than most people had hoped for.

For a driver to be on the podium of every race so far and to have 2 wins on the trot this early in the season is something special, something normally only associated with a more experienced driver who is sure to be battling for the title. For that driver to be someone who has only just arrived in F1 is simply amazing!

More to the point, for that driver to be in a McLaren is even more unbelievable given their shocking lack of reliability over the last few seasons - I’m sure Kimi must be kicking himself for not being in the silver car this year.

Just how a driver can appear on the scene and be so good so quickly is a matter of great debate. Some people think Hamilton is simply better than everyone else who has come before him (a view shared by Hamilton himself it would appear from recent interviews), while others think that the fact Lewis can go so fast straight away is either down to a car advantage or the fact that all F1 cars are easier to drive nowadays than they were previously.

Who is right is not for me to say, as usual it’s probably a mixture of everything - there’s certainly no doubt that Hamilton is a good driver, but having traction control and all the other driver aids, it follows that the cars will be easier to drive with them than without. I dare say we will find out more next year when these features are banned, and racing gets back to focussing more on driver skill than the skill of a programmer back at the team’s headquarters.

So can Hamilton really go all the way and win the driver’s title?

Well there’s still a long way to go in the Championship but he has a decent lead with a 10 point gap back to his teammate Fernando Alonso. Having a gap of 10 points or more must be pretty confidence inspiring as you will know deep down that you can afford to not score in a race and still retain your lead. Still plenty of points up for grabs and we’ve seen in recent years how large leads can be whittled down over time, so Lewis can’t afford to alter his approach to racing just yet.

Any driver who wants to be in with a shout of being World Champion has to be able to call on a massive amount of luck - both good luck going in his favour, and bad luck going against his competitors. Whatever Hamilton has done, he has had luck in abundance so far!

Alonso having to take a stop and go penalty in Montreal simply because he had to pit during a Safety Car period and was about to run out of fuel, was a massive blow to the Spaniard’s hopes of gaining a hefty haul of points - similarly Alonso’s trip over the grass at the first corner damaged his car enough to hamper his car control throughout the whole race.

Hamilton drove faultlessly in Canada, but all the luck going went against his competitors - Felipe Massa was another who suffered (although that was mainly his own fault), and his race was ended early when he was disqualified.

McLaren have always built fast cars, and many would say that having Ron Dennis support you through your career is the biggest slice of luck Lewis could ever have wished for, and I would agree this is true. However, I think the timing of Hamilton’s arrival into F1 has been the key to his success so far.

Imagine that Ron had decided that Lewis was ready this time last year and had thrown him in alongside Kimi. How many podiums would he have racked up by this stage in the season, how many wins? Given the reliability problems Kimi and Juan Pablo Montoya suffered in last year’s car then I’d have to wager that the Lewis Hamilton trophy cabinet would still be full of empty shelves gathering dust.

Probably due to the relatively stable period of rule changes, or non-rule changes, the cars are all fairly reliable at the moment - no matter what team. Any major reliability issues are where teams are trying out a relatively innovative piece of equipment - such as Red Bull’s new gearbox - rather than engines blowing up every few laps as was commonplace a season or two ago. McLaren were particularly adept at this way of ending a GP, which again would have affected Lewis had he been a driver.

So if Lewis Hamilton does become World Champion this year, he should by all means thank his team, Ron Dennis, his father - but he should also thank Lady Luck and of course Max Mosley for pushing through the rules which have promoted reliabilty!