Formula One: Lewis Hamilton in profile.
Lewis Hamilton, son of an English mother and a father whose parents originally came from Grenada, was born on 7th January 1985 in Stevenage, 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 which he won two years later.
Lewis’s winning streak continued unabated in the Formula 3 Euro Series; he was crowned champion of the competition for juniors whilst still in his second year and subsequently progressed up into GP2 with ART Grand Prix. The rookie dominated GP2 by posting five victories and was crowned champion at the end of the season, a success which immediately led to his promotion to the very top of motor racing, F1. Lewis made his Formula 1 debut at McLaren Mercedes on 18th March 2007 as team-mate to Fernando Alonso whilst still only 22 years old. Despite his young years, he fought confidently for the world title right up until the season finale in Brazil, taking on top drivers who were considerably more experienced.
Numerous records set by Lewis in his rookie season are testimony to his class and include the most race wins, the most pole positions as well as the most points in a debut season.
What had already been an extraordinary career up until then reached its climax in the 2008 season with his world championship win. At the time of his title victory, Lewis was 23 years, 9 months and 26 days old and so took from Fernando Alonso the accolade of being the youngest ever Formula 1 World Champion. After six successful years with McLaren Mercedes, Lewis was looking for a new challenge and joined the Silver Arrows MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS works team for the 2013 season. Lewis secured third place on the podium in only his second race for the team and achieved five pole positions in his F1 W04. Having taken his first victory in a works Silver Arrow at the Hungarian Grand Prix, Lewis finished his first season for MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS in fourth place overall on 189 world championship points.
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 AMG PETRONAS team-mate Nico Rosberg: culminating in a dramatic finale at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Highlights of a memorable year included fighting from the back of the grid to the podium in Germany and Hungary, plus a home victory at Silverstone.