Lewis Carl Davidson Hamilton is a British Formula One racing driver from England, currently racing for the Mercedes team. He is the 2008 Formula One World Champion.
Hamilton finished second in the national BRCA championship in 1992. In December 1995, at the age of ten, he approached McLaren team principal Ron Dennis at the Autosport Awards ceremony and told him that he would like to race for McLaren one day. Less than three years later, McLaren and Mercedes-Benz signed him to their Young Driver Support Programme. After winning the British Formula Renault, Formula Three Euroseries and GP2 championships on his way up the racing career ladder, he drove for McLaren in 2007, making his Formula One debut 12 years after his initial encounter with Dennis.
Hamilton's contract for the McLaren driver development program made him the youngest ever driver to secure a contract, which later resulted in a Formula One drive. He is also the first driver of black heritage to win a major race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in any discipline. In his first season in Formula One, Hamilton set numerous records, while finishing second in the 2007 Formula One Championship, just one point behind Kimi Räikkönen. He won the World Championship the following season. On 28 September 2012, it was announced after much speculation that Hamilton would be leaving McLaren after the 2012 season to join Mercedes from the 2013 season onwards, partnering Nico Rosberg, having signed a three-year contract with the team.