|Date of birth||07 January, 1985|
|Place of birth||Stevenage, Hertfordshire, Great Britain|
|F1 career||2007 –|
|Best classification||Champion 2008 2014 2015 2017 2018|
(stats after 2018 F1 season)
Having honed his racing knowledge around Stevenage, young British driver turned his attention to the national races. With ten years and a little less than two years racing experience, Hamilton 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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
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.
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
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.
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.
Now is only Michael Schumacher if front of Hamilton when it comes to the number of titles (7), victories (91) and podiums (155) and looking at Mercedes’ form it is not impossible for Lewis to became new king of Formula 1.