Rising star in the fast lane

McLaren-Mercedes' decision last month to give Britain's Lewis Hamilton a Formula One drive next year alongside World Champion Fernando Alonso has made the 21-year-old Briton a strong contender for nomination for the Laureus breakthrough of the year award.

McLaren-Mercedes' decision last month to give Britain's Lewis Hamilton a Formula One drive next year alongside World Champion Fernando Alonso has made the 21-year-old Briton a strong contender for nomination for the Laureus breakthrough of the year award.

Hamilton, who will become the first black driver to compete in Formula One, dramatically won the GP2 title in the last race of the season in September at Monza, beating Nelson Angelo Piquet and his more experienced teammate Alexandre Premat.

Hamilton's dash and flair throughout the year persuaded McLaren-Mercedes chief Ron Dennis to give him his chance.

Hamilton's performance in the GP2 Series was impressive. At the European GP2 event he won both races, becoming only the second ever driver to do so, and won at Monaco from pole. He repeated his double win at Silverstone, becoming the first GP2 driver to win both heats at two races.

Hamilton faces one of the strongest potential lineups in the category.

Among those in contention for nomination is the Ghana football team that qualified for the World Cup for the first time and reached the last 16. - Sowetan

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