De la Rosa saw Hamilton's potential during his first ever F1 test

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Pedro de la Rosa has revealed how he saw the potential of Lewis Hamilton during his very first Formula 1 test.

Having set GP2 alight on route to the championship in 2006, the Briton, who was already linked to McLaren, was given the opportunity to make his case for the race seat alongside Fernando Alonso for the following year.

Hamilton took part along with De la Rosa and Gary Paffett, who were both test drivers at the time, and the Spaniard recalled how it didn't take long for Lewis to establish himself.

“We went to test in September and one day with Lewis in Silverstone, that’s when my mind changed,” he told F1’s Beyond the Grid podcast.

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“We go testing there, it was his first-ever Formula 1 experience. So I did a run, came back, looked at the times and I saw Lewis was fastest, you know? On the second run.

“I looked at the data and I said: ‘What happened?’" [McLaren said:] ‘Well, we put him in new tyres and he was so fast through Copse, Becketts, Maggotts…', I just realised the potential of Lewis Hamilton."

Having seen what Hamilton achieved then, De la Rosa also knew what was to come when he took to the F1 grid in 2007.

“We had a massive problem. We [at McLaren] and all the drivers in the grid because if Pedro de la Rosa has a problem, everyone has," he joked.

“First ever Formula 1 test, his second run, and I realised this guy is very, very fast.

"I mean, I’ve seen a lot of drivers in my life, you know, I’ve been with very good drivers I would say, and I feel very honoured of that but when I saw Lewis, I thought: ‘Wow, this is very special’.”

Six world titles and 84 race wins later, safe to say De la Rosa wasn't wrong.

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