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DATE News (chronologically)
12/04/07
racing news
Priaulx rues Hamilton saturation  (GMM)  Andy Priaulx says Lewis Hamilton has stolen most of the limelight from any other British driver.

The 33-year-old from Guernsey won the World Touring Car Championship for the third year running last month, but the achievement rated hardly a mention in the press.

F1's rookie runner-up Hamilton, by contrast, is currently embarking on a saturation of celebrity appearances and plaudits, and on Sunday is odds-on to pick up the BBC sports personality of the year gong.

"I've given up trying to educate people.  I'm just doing this for my own reasons now," Priaulx, who drives for BMW in one of the FIA's three sanctioned championships, told Reuters.

"I get recognition from within the sport and that's enough," he said.

Priaulx does not personally blame Hamilton for his lack of recognition, but insists that the 22-year-old McLaren driver "has taken a lot of attention away from the other British drivers".

"People have got on the bandwagon," he explained.

"They did it with Jenson Button too but Jenson wasn't driving a championship-winning car (in 2007).  If he had he would have got the same kind of attention I'm sure.  That's just the way it is."

Priaulx tested a few times for Williams in 2005.

Retired formula one commentator Murray Walker, meanwhile, is a Hamilton fan but believes comparisons with high achievers like Michael Schumacher and Alain Prost are premature.

"Schumacher won seven world championships, Prost won four," he told the Daily Telegraph.  "Hamilton has yet to win one, although he came so close.

"F1 is unpredictable and he has a long way to go," Walker, 84, added.

He said: "This year he was able to display his talents in the best car, but next year's McLaren may not be a winner.  It has happened before."

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