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Formula 1 News - February, 2008
Stewart predicts tough ride for Hamilton

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Feb.27 (GMM) Sir Jackie Stewart has predicted a potentially rough ride this season for 2007 rookie of the year Lewis Hamilton.

The Scot and former triple world champion was a staunch admirer of the young Briton's feats for McLaren last year, but fears that 2008 could be a different story for the 23-year-old.

"It's not unusual for a new driver like Lewis to struggle a bit in the second season," Stewart told The Herald.

"He is no longer an unknown quantity. He is in the position where people are expecting him to win every race he starts," he added.

Stewart also said that it is possible Hamilton will discover this season that formula one is more difficult than he encountered in 2007, when he won four races and narrowly missed the drivers' title.

"It's a curious thing: Lewis will think he can nail this year's championship, because he came so close last time around, but that can make you push too hard, and, before you know it, little things can start going wrong which make the difference," said the Scot.

"A lot of factors have changed this season and Kovalainen's arrival at McLaren could mean that the shoe is on the other foot," he said.

"Suddenly, here is another bright-eyed, bushy-tailed contender and, if Heikki makes a good start in the first few races, the publicity and press attention might revolve round him."

Stewart also thinks McLaren's preparations for 2008 will have been disrupted by the espionage affair.

"I wouldn't write them off, but it might be hard to build up that momentum again," he said.

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