Lewis Hamilton was making headlines as soon as he stepped into Formula 1 with the McLaren team. Seven World Championships later, the British driver is one of the sport’s greatest ever drivers in the all-conquering Mercedes.
|Full Name||Lewis Carl Davidson Hamilton|
|Date of Birth||7th January 1985|
|First Race||2007 Australian Grand Prix|
|First Win||2007 Canadian Grand Prix|
Growing up in Stevenage and idolising Ayrton Senna, Lewis Hamilton’s story is one of rags to riches. His rise through the ranks of motorsport came with thanks to his father, Anthony, who sacrificed so much for his son to get a chance in racing. Hamilton made a name for himself, with success in Formula Renault, F3 and GP2. Hamilton’s time in F1’s feeder series is most remembered for an incredible drive at the Istanbul Park circuit in 2006.
Hamilton arrived on the F1 scene with a bang in 2007 as the rivalry between him and his team-mate Fernando Alonso was a major talking point of the year. He scored his début win in Canada, before going on to fight for the title until the very last round of the season. A pit-lane misdemeanour had cost him victory in Shanghai, and his Brazil weekend was curtailed by problems, leaving him helpless to finishing runner-up to Kimi Raikkonen in the championship. A rivalry with Felipe Massa followed in 2008 and, despite another rather unfortunate pit-lane mishap in Canada, he claimed his first World Championship in the most dramatic of circumstances in Brazil.
Four more seasons with McLaren followed, and though he didn’t win a championship again with the team, he put in some stellar performances to solidify his place as one of the greats of the sport. In 2013, Hamilton moved to pastures new with the Mercedes team. At the time, the move came under much scrutiny, but ultimately proved to be an inspired decision as the German team became the dominant force in Formula One. As the sport entered the hybrid era, Hamilton and team-mate Nico Rosberg were the only genuine title contenders for the next three seasons, with Hamilton coming out on top in 2014 and 2015. 2016 saw Hamilton endure terrible luck, and Rosberg claimed the title as their Mercedes partnership grew ever more fractious.
In 2017, with a new team-mate, Lewis Hamilton became the sport’s most successful British driver as he took his fourth World Championship and relished in a battle with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel. Though he trailed his championship rival for the first twelve rounds, the Brit bounced back after the summer break and was unstoppable while Ferrari faltered. It was a season with little mistakes – other than an embarrassing crash in the first part of qualifying in Brazil. Over the course of the year, Hamilton became the sport’s most prolific polesitter, beating Michael Schumacher’s record of 68 poles. A similar story followed in 2018, with Hamilton once again going head-to-head with Vettel for a fifth Drivers’ Championship. With highlights including a win from fourteenth on the grid at the German Grand Prix and a stellar pole lap in Singapore, Hamilton was crowned champion for a fifth time – emulating only Juan Manuel Fangio and Michael Schumacher.
HAMILTON IN 2019
In 2019, Lewis Hamilton took one step closer to equalling Michael Schumacher as statistically the greatest F1 driver of all time. After a four race tussle for the lead of the championship, since his win at the Spanish Grand Prix – and his subsequent three consecutive victories – Hamilton controlled the title hunt and eventually ended up 87 points ahead of anyone else.
Though his qualifying performances dropped in 2019, admitting himself that his Saturday game needed improving, Hamilton’s star quality shone through again this season. Only five races this year were led from start to finish – all five of them by Hamilton. In total, he won over half of this year’s races.
The best moment of Hamilton’s season would surely be his record-breaking sixth British Grand Prix victory, in which he won by the largest margin of the season. And the worst moment? A rare clumsy manoeuvre on Alex Albon, costing the young Red Bull driver and himself a podium finish. All in all though, it was a peerless year for the six-time World Champion. Read more: Lewis Hamilton’s 2019 F1 Season in Stats.
HAMILTON IN 2020
Hamilton achieved his latest title victory in the most unusual context, against a backdrop of fighting for social equality and in the midst of a global pandemic. He himself was impacted by the pandemic, when a positive coronavirus test meant he had to miss the Sakhir Grand Prix, before recovering in time for the season finale.
Despite those adversities, Hamilton’s seventh title cemented his place as one of the sport’s greatest drivers. He won the 2020 title by 124 points – the largest margin by which he has won the title, and the second largest win margin in the sport’s history. He also joins Michael Schumacher, Juan Manuel Fangio and Sebastian Vettel as only the fourth driver to have won four titles in consecutive seasons.
The season may not have started easily for Hamilton. He failed to lead the title race until after the third round – but when he assumed the lead, he never lost it. He went on to win eleven races over the course of the 2020 season, equalling his personal best number of wins in a single season. Michael Schumacher’s all-time win and podium records were two of many which fell into Hamilton’s ownership this year. Read more: The F1 Records Broken by Lewis Hamilton in 2020.
With a seventh title confirmed, the mission for 2021 is simple: a never-before-seen eighth title win – and there’s no reason to believe it isn’t well within Hamilton’s grasp.
LEWIS HAMILTON’S F1 RECORD
|Year||Team||Final Position||Points Scored||Wins||Poles||Podiums|