#44 Lewis Hamilton

Date of birth07 January, 1985
Place of birthStevenage, Hertfordshire, Great Britain
Height175 cm
Weight66 kg
F1 career2007 –
Best classificationChampion 2008 2014 2015 2017 2018 2019 2020
Races started332
Podium places197
Pole positions104
Front row175
Fastest laps65
Races led187
Official websitewww.lewishamilton.com

(stats after 2023 F1 season)

Young British driver from Stevenage, with ten years and a little less than two years racing experience, became the youngest winner of the British Cadet Cart Championship.

Lewis soon begins to accumulate karting trophies and that has not escaped the sharp eye of Ron Dennis who in 1998 signed Lewis at McLaren’s program for young drivers. Dennis’s faith in the young Hamilton was such that the contract included an option which allowed McLaren F1 team to race Hamilton if 13-year-old Briton come to Formula 1.

McLaren’s financial support enabled Hamilton to shine on a much larger stage and the Briton won multiple titles of European champion in karting. And at 15 he became the youngest champion, a record which still stands.

Hamilton na drugoj utrci GP2 prvenstva u Imoli (22.4.2006.) Foto: GP2 Series Media Service
Hamilton at the second race of the GP2 championship (22 April, 2006) Photo: GP2 Series Media Service

However, it was Hamilton’s talent, not his youth, which separated him from other drivers. In 2002, he decided to compete in a very competitive British Formula Renault series. All doubts about how the young Lewis would cope with the rapid increase in power in the Formula Renault were quickly eliminated in the first season in which he finished third, and a year later he won the title with record breaking ten wins, nine fastest laps and eleven podiums.

Although his transition to the F3 Euroseries was somewhat less successful, Hamilton quickly adapted and after his fifth place in the standings in his debut season, next year he won the championship. The fact that he was driving for dominant ASM team undoubtedly helped him, but with 15 wins Hamilton destroyed his opposition.

His debut season in strong GP2 series proved extremely successful. Hamilton was at the peak and enjoyed impressive performances and delighted everybody with speed, overtaking and consistency. He outperformed the far more experienced team mate Alexandre Goes and Nelson Piquet Junior, won the championship and the admiration of the whole Formula 1.

Hamilton i Alonso u obračunu na VN SAD-a održanoj na Indianapolisu. Lewis je pobijedio Alonsa s pole positiona i stigao do druge pobjede u karijeri, tjedan dana nakon prve pobjede u Kanadi. (17.6.2007.) Foto: Mercedes
Hamilton and Alonso fight for the lead at the US Grand Prix held in Indianapolis. Lewis beat Alonso in qualifying and clinched his second career victory, a week after first victory in Canada (17 June, 2007) Photo: Mercedes

His speed and consistency in the race reminded of young Fernando Alonso and at the end of 2006 McLaren decided to give Hamilton a chance in his F1 car and the British driver did not disappoint. He secured a place at McLaren for 2007 together with the current world champion Fernando Alonso.

Hamilton better than anybody expected in 2007

It was a bold move for the usually traditional and conservative F1 team, but the move quickly paid off. Hamilton was brilliant at the beginning of the season with nine consecutive podiums, including victory in his seventh race in Canada. In his first F1 season he won four times, grabbed six pole positions and 12 podiums.

Season was marked wth great rivalry between him and Alonso, which culminated in the Hungarian Grand Prix, where Hamilton failed to comply with an agreement about track position during qualifying and Alonso held him up in pitstop during final seconds of qualifying. Spaniard was penalized with five places at the start of the race.

Hamilton led driver’s championship for much of the season, but in the last two races Hamilton shows his inexperience and of the possible 20 points he scores only two. Kimi Raikkonen took his first and only title who was 17 points behind Hamilton two races to go.

Felipe Massa (lijevo) slavi pobjedu na domaćoj utrci u Brazilu, ali prvak je ipak postao Lewis Hamilton (desno) nakon što je u posljednjem krugu prestigao Glocka i osvojio peto mjesto koje mu je trebalo. (2.11.2008.)
Felipe Massa (left) celebrates winning his home race in Brazil, but Lewis Hamilton (right) became the champion after the last lap overtaking of Timo Glock for the fifth place he nedeed (2 November, 2008)

Hamilton makes up for 2007 and becomes a 2008 F1 champion

Hamilton was determined to clinch his first title in 2008 and he showed his intentions in first race in Australia. He won the first race of the season where McLaren had the fastest car, but it was difficult season for British driver with much more mistakes than ih his debut season. Alonso went to Renault, and a new team-mate Heikki Kovalainen was not a threat to Britain’s new talent.

The highlight of the season were dominant victories in the rain at Monaco and Silverstone, and Lewis was leading driver’s championship heading to last race of the season in Brazil. If Massa won, Hamilton would need to finish fifth to clinch his first F1 title.

In a thrilling race Massa was dominant winner, but Hamilton needed to wait last corner at rainy Interlagos to overtake Timo Glock who didn’t pit for wet tyres. Lewis took the fifth place he needed and thus his first title in Formula 1.

Lewis Hamilton je u Mađarskoj 2009. ostvario prvu pobjedu u sezoni i prvu pobjedu za bolid s hibridnim pogonom u povijesti Formule 1 (26.7.2009.) Foto: Mercedes
Lewis Hamilton scored his first victory of the season in Hungary and first ever victory for hybrid F1 car (26 July, 2009) Photo: Mercedes

Hamilton tastes uncompetitive car for the first time in F1 2009

Title defence in non-competitive McLaren MP4-24 was a mission impossible, but team significantly improved the car from the German Grand Prix which enabled Lewis to begin to fight for victory. At the next race, the Hungarian Grand Prix, Lewis won ahead of Kimi Raikkonen in the Ferrari, which was also the first victory for the car which is equipped with a KERS system (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) and the first victory for a car with hybrid drive in the history of Formula 1.

Hamilton won in Singapore and clinched three additional podium places. He finished fifth in the standings.

Lewis Hamilton u Suzuki u McLaren Mercedesu MP4-25 koji je imao inovativan F-duct sustav za smanjenje otpora zraka. (8.10.2010.) Foto: McLaren
Lewis Hamilton at Suzuka 2010. in McLaren MP4-25 with innovative F-duct system for drag reduction (8 October, 2010) Photo: McLaren

Championship contender again in 2010

Hamilton really was a contender for the championship in 2010. Victories in Turkey and Canada made him one of the favourites for the title, but Hamilton’s mistakes in Singapore and Italy, where his over-aggressive driving cost him more than 30 points, denied him serious shot for the title. He finished the season in fourth place, two places ahead of new team-mate Jenson Button.

Hamilton je 2011. bio jedini vozač koji je Red Bullu uspio oteti pole position. Dogodilo se to na VN Koreje (16.10.2011.) Foto: Getty
Hamilton was the only non-Red Bull driver in 2011 to take a pole position. It happened at Korean GP (16 October, 2011) Photo: Getty

Button beats Hamilton in 2011

F1 season 2011 was certainly the most difficult season in Hamilton’s F1 career. Frustrated by the inability of the car to fight for victory and dominant Sebastian Vettel, Hamilton had a lot of incidents, many of which were with Felipe Massa. Relationship with the media was never worse.

His disordered private life further complicated the matter, as well as Jenson Button who in his second season for McLaren showed his true potential. Although they both achieved three victories (Hamilton won China, Germany and Abu Dhabi), Button finished second in the overall standings and Hamilton was fifth.

It was the first time that Hamilton finished behind team-mate (in 2007 he was equal on points with Alonso, but he ended up in front of him due to higher number of second places). Hamilton won his only pole position of the season in Korea, which was the only pole position in 2011. taken by non-Red Bull drivers (Vettel and Webber).

Hamilton back to his best in 2012 but hampered by fast, but unreliable MP4-27

Hamilton je pobjedom na VN Kanade 2012. postao sedmi pobjednik na prvih sedam utrka te sezone (10.6.2012.) Foto: fanpop
After winning Canadian GP 2012. Hamilton became seventh winner in first seven races of the season (10 June, 2012) Photo: fanpop

Hamilton started the 2012 F1 season with two pole positions in the first two races, but he managed to translate them into only two third places. In the season with seven different winners in first seven races, Lewis has been busy collecting the points and the podium positions, and after winning the seventh race of the season in Canada, he put himself in the position to challenge for the title.

However, Hamilton has lost four potential victories thanks to an unreliable car and team mistakes. First, he lost a shot at victory in Spain after a dominant pole position because car didn’t have enough fuel for analysis and he had to start last. In Singapore and Abu Dhabi he retired from the lead because of car failures, and in Brazil Nico Hulkenberg took him out from the race from leading position.

Still, he managed to win in Canada, Hungary, Italy and the United States and snatch seven pole positions (eight if you count Spain). Lewis was on the fire again and Mercedes was very happy to have secured his services for next season.

Hamilton raises eyebrows with his 2013 Mercedes switch

Hamilton leads Alonso and Massa Spanish GP F1 2013 Photo Mercedes
Hamilton battles with Ferrari drivers Alonso and Massa in 2013 F1 season (Photo: Mercedes)

Hamilton left McLaren at the end of 2012 after being championship contender with four wins and 7 pole positions, but he made his switch in Mercedes in perfect moment because after 2012 McLaren won’t have race winning car.

The transition in the Mercedes turned out to be a real bingo because the car was capable of winning the pole positions and victories, while McLaren had a season without a single podium. Hamilton won in Hungary, took five pole positions and finished fourth in the overall standings, two places above his new team-mate Nico Rosberg.

But it was the new turbo-hybrid era starting in 2014 which will bring Hamilton so much success and enable him to write himself in Formula 1 history books.

Hamilton beats Rosberg in 2014 in a tense title fight

Hamilton Rosberg USA GP Austin F1 2014 Photo Daimler
Hamilton overtakes Rosberg in 2014 US GP in Austin (2 November, 2014, Photo: Daimler)

F1 season 2014 brought us the epic fight for the title between two team-mates in a dominant Mercedes W05. Lewis started the season with DNF in Australia due do mechanical failure, but after that he nailed four victories in a row. Rosberg stops the rout with victory in Monaco, after winning a controversial pole position triggering yellow flags after he held pole after first Q3 runs.

Long-awaited clash on the track came at the Belgian Grand Prix when Rosberg front wing punctured Hamilton’s rear left tyre, which forced Lewis to retire. German finished second behind Ricciardo and collected 18 points. After that, Hamilton has won six of the remaining seven races, which was enough for his second F1 title.

At the Malaysian Grand Prix in 2014 Hamilton took his first Grand Chalem: victory, pole position, fastest lap and leading every lap of the race.

Hamilton dominant against Rosberg in 2015

Lewis showed why he was title favourite in 2015 and easily won the first race of the season in Australia, but Vettel and Ferrari bounced back in searing heat of Malaysia. Hamilton responded with another two victories in next two races in China and Bahrain.

Rosberg defeated Hamilton only at the fifth race of the championship in Spain and Hamilton lost certain victory in Monaco because of a bad team call that unnecessary invited him to the pits during the safety car period. In Canada, at the track where in 2007 he clinched first victory of his career, Lewis wins fourth race of the season in front of his team mate Rosberg who beat him off the line in the next race in Austria.

Hamilton je u Italiji 2015. osvojio drugi Grand Chalem u karijeri: pobjedu, pole position, najbrži krug i vodstvo u svakom krugu utrke (6.9.2015.) Foto: Mercedes
Hamilton recorded his second Grand Chelem at Monza (6.9.2015.) Photo: Mercedes

Briton celebrated victory at his home race at Silverstone, the third time in his career (2008 and 2014 were the first two), and  every time Lewis won in England he would have won the title. In Hungary, Lewis once again started from pole position but lost the lead at the start and in the race full of errors he managed only sixth place. This was followed by victories in Belgium and a dominant win in Italy with new specification of Mercedes engine where he started first, set the fastest lap and led every lap of the race (Grand Chelem).

In the first 12 races, Lewis took 11 pole positions and one second place on the grid and he was on the podium 11 times. Great run of form came to an end at Singapore where Mercedes had a bad weekend in which they fail to get the maximum out of the tyres and the car settings. Hamilton qualified fifth and later retired from the race due to engine failure.

After Singapore blip, Hamilton won next three races in Japan, Russia and the United States in which he started second and took his third world title. He became only the tenth driver in the history of Formula 1 with three or more titles, and the only active driver with victories in all the years in which he starred, a fact often highlighted by his old rival Fernando Alonso.

Rosberg beats Hamilton at last in 2016

Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W07 Hybrid Monaco GP F1 2016 after race celebration Foto Daimler
Hamilton won for the first time in 2016 in only sixth race in Monaco, cutting Rosberg’s lead to 24 points (Photo: Daimler)

Rosberg started the 2016 F1 season with four victories in the first four races, but Hamilton responded and secured brilliant victory in Monaco and Austria where he overtook Rosberg in the last lap in controversial clash in second corner.

But Hamilton had numerous bad starts and some reliability problems like in Malaysia where he retired with an engine failure while leading. After Rosberg won in Suzuka, where Hamilton made another bad start, German driver could finish the last four races in second place and secure the title even if Hamilton won all four of them.

Hamilton won the last four races, but Rosberg managed to finish second in all of them with nerve-wrenching last GP of the season in Abu Dhabi and soon announced his retirement from Formula 1.

Hamilton wins in final race of 2016 F1 season in Abu Dhabi, but with Rosberg second it wasn’t enough for the title (Photo: Daimler)

Vettel starts strongly in resurgent Ferrari in 2017, but fades away after Spa

Hamilton clinched his fourth world championship in 2017 after beating Vettel in Ferrari and securing the title two races to go. British driver was at his brilliant best, scoring points in all races and winning 9 times in 21 races, equalling himself with Vettel and Prost with four titles.

It wasn’t a easy start for Hamilton as he trailed Vettel for 25 points after Monaco, but he was only one point behind after winning his home race at Silverstone.

Vettel was still leading after Lewis won in front of him in Belgium, but then Lewis won in five of next six races and sealed the title with ninth place in Mexico.

Vettel again leading in 2018, but Hamilton prevails again

Sebastian Vettel opened the 2018 F1 season with two victories in the first two races and Hamilton was disappointingly on usualy very strong track for him in China and finished fourth. But that proved to be just one of the three races in the season that Lewis did not finish on the podium and that was the key to another World Championship.

Vettel led after the 10/21 races with a win at Silverstone, but then came Hockenheim where Hamilton had only started 16th due to some car problems and managed to win in rainy conditions following Vettel’s mistake in the Sachs corner. Hamilton then took the lead with 17 points ahead of Vettel and never looked back.

Hamilton won seven more times in the remaining 10 races, scored two more podiums and finished fourth in Mexico, where he won the title two races before the end of the season, joining Juan Manuel Fangio with five titles.

Hamilton Mercedes Mexican GP F1 2018 fifth title celebration Photo Daimler

Hamilton started pole again in Melbourne in 2019, but after a poor start he lost the lead from teammate Bottas and finished second, damaging the car in the first rounds and failing to be a threat to Finn.

He didn’t have to wait long for the first victory – he celebrated in the second race of the season in Bahrain where he pressed Vettel into error and took the lead after Leclerc’s problem and also celebrated in China when he overtook Bottas before the first corner while in Baku he finished second behind Bottas but in Spain he retaliated after qualifying duel from Bottas and taking the lead after a better start.

Hamilton won pole position in Monaco after his victory in Spain, after Lauda’s death, and in the race managed to keep the faster Verstappen with better tyres. In Canada, he beat Vettel, who was penalized after the race for dangerous return to the track, and laid the solid foundation of the sixth championship title with a dominant performance in France, where he celebrated in front of Bottas, adding triumph on his home track in Silverstone.

Although he didn’t start from pole position in nine consecutive races between Germany and Abu Dhabi, Hamilton safely brought the championship to the end and secured the title ahead of Bottas two races before the end in Austin and in the last race of the season in Abu Dhabi he won the fifth pole position and equal Bottas’ number of poles. In doing so, he prevented Bottas to become the second driver to win more pole positions in the same car than Hamilton, first being Rosberg in 2014 when he had 11 poles compared to Hamilton’s 7.

In the run-up to 2020, Hamilton is the big favorite for the championship title, his seventh, to equalize with Michael Schumacher, and given the stable rules over 2019. Mercedes is still the first favorite for wins and pole positions.

2020 Turkish GP Hamilton Mercedes F1 W11 after the race 7th title confetti Photo Daimler
Formula One – Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Turkish GP 2020. Lewis Hamilton (Photo: Daimler)

Hamilton dominated the F1 season in 2020, in which he equalized the performance of Michael Schumacher and won the seventh title as he overtook him in the number of victories – after 2020 he has four more wins than the German.

After a stumble in the first race of the season in Austria, where he finished fourth after a penalty for the incident with Albon, Hamilton took control of the championship with five wins in the next six races, and after losing a victory in Italy due to pitlane penalty, Hamilton won six of the next seven races.

He secured the championship with a fantastic victory in dry-wet conditions in Turkey from sixth place, three races before the end of the championship of 17 races, and after winning the first race in Bahrain Hamilton got a positive result on COVID-19 and missed the penultimate race of the season in the same country.

Hamilton returned to the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi where he qualified and finished third behind winner Verstappen and teammate Bottas and in 2021 Hamilton could win his eighth championship title and break the 100-win and 100 pole position mark.

2020 Turkish GP Hamilton Mercedes F1 W11 after the race 7th title team celebration Photo Daimler
Formula One – Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, 2020 Turkish GP, Lewis Hamilton celebrates 7th title (Photo: Daimler)

The new 2021 F1 season brought what all Formula 1 fans were hoping for – an exciting championship battle between Hamilton and Verstappen.

Mercedes and Red Bull were very equal in terms of speed, and neither Hamilton nor Verstappen failed to lead their teams in a merciless battle on and off the track.

We already saw the first clash in the first race in Bahrain, where Verstappen failed to overtake Hamilton despite the newer tires, and in Imola they had a new duel in the first corner in the rain when Verstappen did not leave room for Hamilton.

Hamilton made a big mistake at Imola while chasing Verstappen and narrowly escaped a sand trap at the Tosa corner, but a race-ending collision between Bottas and Russell gave him another chance, which he took and finished second.

In Barcelona, we witnessed another fight between Hamilton and Verstappen in the first corner of the first lap, and at Silverstone there was a collision in the first lap in the Copse corner, after which Verstappen retired and Hamilton received a ten-second penalty.

Despite the penalty, Hamilton managed to beat the leader Leclerc, and the new clash did not have to wait long – the leading two drivers of the championship collided in Monza, after which they both retired, and Verstappen was found guilty and received a three-place penalty for the next race in Russia .

Hamilton claimed a long-awaited 100th Formula 1 win in Russia after a shock wet finish that saw Norris stay on dry tires and Verstappen manage to finish second after starting from the back.

With that victory, Hamilton took the lead in the drivers’ standings, and with seven races to go, his lead was only two points.

In Turkey, Hamilton was the fastest in qualifying, but he started 11th due to an engine change, so he had to work his way through the order, and his job was made more difficult by Perez in Red Bull, and in the end he finished fifth, three places behind Verstappen, who regained the championship lead .

Most expected Austin to match Mercedes, but Verstappen and Red Bull unexpectedly cruised to victory from pole position ahead of Mexico where Verstappen justified his favorite status despite Mercedes occupying the front row.

Before the last four races of the season, Verstappen had a 19-point advantage, but then came Brazil, where Hamilton took the fifth engine, was disqualified from qualifying because of the rear wing, started last in the sprint and reached fifth place, and in the race he celebrated from tenth position in the most dominant Mercedes perform this year.

Hamilton was also convincing in Qatar even though he did not use the latest engine, and Verstappen finished second again even though he started seventh due to a penalty for yellow flags in qualifying.

A controversial second-to-last race in Saudi Arabia saw Hamilton take another win ahead of Verstappen, who had a couple of clashes, but the Dutchman was given two penalties after which he barely held on to second place.

2021 Abu Dhabi GP start of the race Hamilton leads Verstappen Photo Red Bull
2021 Abu Dhabi GP start – Hamilton leads Verstappen (Photo: Red Bull)

For the last race of the season, Verstappen secured the pole position, but he loses first place after a few meters due to a bad start and Hamilton was in firm control of the race until the very end when Latifi crashed in Williams and caused the safety car to come out.

Red Bull invited Verstappen to the pits, so the Dutchman took soft tires for the last few laps, and Mercedes did not invite Hamilton to the pits in order not to lose position on the track. The race resumed at the end of the penultimate lap which gave Verstappen the chance he took to win the championship in an incredibly dramatic finish.

Hamilton impressed with his sportsmanship after the race despite the controversial decision to let only the drivers between him and Verstappen pass, but after the race he opted for an extended media silence to recharge his batteries and come back even stronger for the new 2022 F1 season.

2022 Brazilian GP Verstappen battles Hamilton before Turn 1 Photo Red Bull Edited by MAXF1net
2022 Brazilian GP Verstappen battles Hamilton before Turn 1 Photo Red Bull Edited by MAXF1net

The new era in Formula 1 in 2022 was fatal for Mercedes because their streak from 2014, in which they fight for the championship title in every season, did not continue.

Mercedes’ F1 W13 made its debut at the Barcelona test, but it wasn’t until the second test in Bahrain that it appeared in the sidewall configuration they planned to race with. Instead of a big jump in performance, Mercedes experienced a high level of bounce that plagued them in the first part of the season and prevented them from unlocking the car’s full potential.

During the season, Mercedes developed its F1 W13 well, which was very competitive on certain tracks, and its greatest strength was keeping the Pirelli tires well while it worked best on tracks with as few bumps as possible and as many turns as possible.

The only pole position was achieved by Russell in Hungary, and Russell also brought the team the only victory of the season when he won both the sprint and the main race in Sao Paolo, where he finished ahead of teammate Hamilton.

Hamilton struggled more with the unpredictable F1 W13 at the beginning of the season than Russell, but in the second part of the season he was better even though he did not achieve either pole position or victory and was more successful in qualifying 13:9.

But Russell, thanks to his more consistent performances during the season, finished ahead of Hamilton, which is only Hamilton’s third loss to his teammate in 16 seasons (Button 2011 and Rosberg 2016).

Hamilton leads Russell during the 2023 Dutch GP at Zandvoort (Photo: Daimler)

Even in 2023, Mercedes did not produce a car with which Hamilton could fight for the championship title, but that is why Hamilton raised the level of his driving after last year’s defeat to Russell.

The Briton was extremely consistent in scoring points and podiums when possible, and for more than half the season he was in the fight for second place in the drivers’ standings despite having a much slower car than Perez in Red Bull.

For the first time in his career, Hamilton finished third in the driver’s standings, but he caused a real shock before the start of the new 2024 season when his move to Ferrari in 2025 was announced.