Lewis Hamilton

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Lewis Hamilton

7 Time Formula One World Driver Champion

Career

Lewis Hamilton was born on 7 January 1985 in Tewin, England. At the tender age of eight, Lewis sat in a kart for the first time and was immediately bitten by the racing bug. Mercedes-Benz soon recognised the British youngster’s enormous talent, becoming one of his sponsors right at the start of his career.

Lewis not only showed incredible pace on the track but also climbed the career ladder at an impressive rate. After he had blown the competition out of the water in every category of karting and won the McLaren Mercedes Champions of the Future series, McLaren Mercedes enrolled him on their Young Driver Programme in 1997. In 2001, he moved up into British Formula Renault, winning the title two years later.

Lewis’ winning streak continued unabated in the Formula 3 Euro Series. He was crowned junior champion whilst still in his second year and subsequently progressed to the GP2 Series with ART Grand Prix. Despite his rookie status, Lewis dominated the Championship – taking five victories on his way to the title. This success immediately led to his promotion to the very pinnacle of motor racing – Formula One.

Lewis made his Grand Prix debut with McLaren Mercedes on 18 March 2007 as team-mate to reigning World Champion Fernando Alonso whilst still only 22 years old. Despite his youth, he remained in contention for the title right up until the season finale in Brazil – challenging top drivers with considerably more experience. The numerous records set by Lewis in his rookie season highlighted his class – including the most race wins, pole positions and points scored in a debut season.

What had already been an extraordinary career reached new heights in 2008, with a first Formula One World Championship crown. At the time of his title victory, Lewis was 23 years, nine months and 26 days old – taking the accolade of youngest ever Formula One World Champion from Fernando Alonso. Four years later, after six successful seasons with McLaren Mercedes, Lewis sought a new challenge – joining the works Mercedes team for the 2013 season.

Lewis secured his first podium in a Mercedes Formula One car in only his second race with the team, at the Malaysian Grand Prix. A maiden victory followed eight races later in Hungary. Lewis scored a total of one victory, five podiums, five pole positions and one fastest lap, finishing his first campaign with Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport in fourth place in the Drivers’ standings.

2014 heralded the dawn of a new era for Formula One – and a second World Drivers’ Championship crown for Lewis. 11 victories, 16 podium finishes, seven pole positions and seven fastest race laps from 19 races saw him take the title after a season-long battle with Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg – culminating in a dramatic finale at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. One year later, Lewis would repeat that feat in equally impressive fashion. A dominant title defence brought 10 victories, 17 podium finishes, 11 pole positions and eight fastest laps from 19 races en route to a third World Driver’s Championship – equalling the great Ayrton Senna and compatriot Sir Jackie Stewart.

Lewis achieved a similar level of success in the 2016 season, scoring the most race wins (ten) and most pole positions (twelve) of any driver. The Brit kept his World Championship hopes alive until the final weekend of the season in Abu Dhabi – but ultimately had to settle for the runner-up spot behind his team-mate Nico.

For 2017, Lewis came under pressure from Sebastian Vettel, trailing the Ferrari driver for the first part of the season before a stunning run of form catapulted him into the Championship lead at the Italian Grand Prix. Lewis secured his fourth World Title in Mexico with two rounds to spare. He ended the year with the most race wins (10) and pole positions (11) of any driver.

Lewis continues to reach new heights in the Formula One hall of fame. By the end of 2017, he had moved into first place on the all-time pole positions leader board (72), as well as becoming the driver with the most front row starts (118). Having won four Drivers’ World Championships, Lewis is now joint-third (with Alain Prost and Sebastian Vettel) in the all-time list of World Titles, as well as Britain’s most successful Formula One driver.

In 2018, Lewis reached new heights in Formula One’s history. It proved to be an intense season, with Lewis and Ferrari’s Vettel trading places at the top of the standings, before Lewis took command of the Championship. In total, he claimed 11 victories, 11 pole positions and 17 podiums, claiming his fifth Drivers’ title in Mexico – and joining a very exclusive club, only Michael Schumacher and Juan Manuel Fangio are a part of.

In 2019, Lewis again claimed 11 victories, 17 podiums and 5 pole positions, scoring 413 points to his team-mate and closest rival Valtteri Bottas’ 326. Hamilton and Bottas emerged from the first four races with two wins and two seconds apiece, and for the first time since he joined the team, it looked like the Finn was about to put up a proper championship challenge to his team-mate. But a run of victories in Spain, Monaco, Canada and
France enabled Hamilton to gradually pull away, and he never looked back.

Roll on to 2020, and in arguably the most obscure season in F1, Lewis Hamilton equalled long time idol Michael Schumacher with seven World Driver Championships with possibly one of his best ever drivers at Istanbul Park, Turkey. A race fraught with treacharous conditions, Lewis strategically worked his way up to P1 later claiming that his rookie 2007 season came to mind when Mercedes-AMG team attempted to get Lewis to pit 2 laps from the end. A well deserved championship winning race.

Lewis Hamilton still has plenty more to give, no doubt he will put himself right at the top of the history and record books in all areas, for many years to come.