From the moment McLaren gave its backing to an ambitious 10-year-old karter there were great expectations of Lewis Hamilton. And he delivered in style. The Formula Renault UK title, the F3 Euro Series crown and the GP2 championship presaged a move into F1 with McLaren. Teamed up with double world champion Fernando Alonso, many critics doubted the wisdom of promoting Hamilton so quickly. But he confounded them instantly, finishing on the podium in his first grand prix.