By several of the 23-year-old's critics, it has been suggested that he was handed his competitive seat on a platter -- backed since childhood by McLaren and spared the hindrance of having to prove himself with a small team.

Two prominent formula one experts have dismissed suggestions Lewis Hamilton is not a deserving world champion.

By several of the 23-year-old's critics, it has been suggested that he was handed his competitive seat on a platter -- backed since childhood by McLaren and spared the hindrance of having to prove himself with a small team.

"Heikki Kovalainen had the same opportunity this year," triple world champion Niki Lauda told the regional Swiss newspaper Berner Zeitung, "and yet he did not have the same success.

"It requires a special talent to get the title, even with a top car," the great Austrian said.

Ferrari test driver Marc Gene agreed: "It is true he came into F1 with a very good car.

"But if you compare his performances with those of the other good drivers who came out of GP2, like Nelsinho and Glock, you can straight away appreciate the difference.

"His decisions are sometimes very impulsive, but there is no doubt that he is very good," the Spaniard wrote in his column for El Mundo.

 

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