McLaren chief Ron Dennis has given a fascinating insight into how he helped Lewis Hamilton become Formula One world champion.
Dennis has overseen the career development of Hamilton, and funded his education and training, since first meeting him over ten years ago.
The McLaren chief exclusively told the Telegraph that he insisted that the boy didn’t drive racing cars until he understood everything about the machines – how the brakes worked, how to conserve tyres and petrol [comma]and how cars were made.
"I wouldn’t let him anywhere near Formula One until everything about him was ready."
Dennis, who straightens up the pictures on walls when first entering a hotel room, recognised that even as a boy Hamilton shared his obsession with perfection.
The 61-year-old, who suffered a marriage break-up earlier this year, recalled the time he first met Hamilton: "I saw something in his eyes. It’s like meeting a partner in life; you meet someone and you know that they’re right.
"I just knew with Lewis."
The new champion yesterday responded to Bernie Ecclestone’s claim that people had over-reacted to racist abuse aimed at him by Spanish websites by saying: "I don’t particularly look at it as a joke."
Written by James Christie