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Lewis Hamilton has earned accolades and set records that are almost unachievable now

A Lewis Hamilton fan: Why every F1-watcher should be one!

Lewis Hamilton is arguably one of the most polarizing names in Formula 1! He has some of the biggest followings any F1 driver has had. He also has some of the biggest groups of haters as well.

Despite all of that, the man who made his debut for McLaren in 2007 is still racing in F1. He's closer to 40 than 30 but even then he's not letting himself get slowed down in any which way. He started racing in F1 in 2007 and quickly jumped right to the top. It's been 16 years now and he's still there.


In this article, my aim is quite simple. What I'm trying to achieve is to show that if you are a fan of Formula 1, then you should be a fan of Lewis Hamilton too.

What does being a Lewis Hamilton fan mean?

Now, let me clarify what I mean by being a Lewis Hamilton fan. I'm not talking about the ones who are still outraged by what happened in Abu Dhabi in 2021. Nor am I talking about those who resort to online abuse against Max Verstappen or Red Bull or anyone else on the F1 grid who crosses paths with Hamilton.

Happy birthday Sir @LewisHamilton!

The 7-time World Champion turns 38 today


In my opinion, those are not fans; they're fanatics and if I am honest, they deserve their place in the sport as well. Hamilton has been able to impact their lives in such a way that they will resort to anything to defend or attack him.

Having said that, when I'm talking about being a Lewis Hamilton fan, my focus is on possessing the objectivity to understand that what Hamilton has achieved in F1 is rare. I don't expect you or ask you to cheer for him when he races, that's not the aim. I don't expect you to replace your favorite driver with Hamilton either.

The aim is to remove the hate and have at least a foundational level of respect for what Lewis Hamilton has achieved in F1. Again, in my view, this is only subjective and every F1 fan who knows the sport and the challenges that come with it should be a Lewis Hamilton fan.


Why you should be one!

Now, with the basic premise out of the way, let's take a look at why every F1 fan should be a Lewis Hamilton fan.

Just look at his F1 record

  • Most titles by an F1 driver (7)
  • Most wins by an F1 driver (103)
  • Most podiums by an F1 driver (191)
  • Most pole positions by an F1 driver (103)
  • Most career points for an F1 driver (4405.5)
  • Longest points-scoring streak by an F1 driver (48)

These are the records of an all-time great. There have been suggestions by many fans that a lot of these records were achieved because he had a superior car underneath him. In all fairness, it's not a wrong assessment. If Hamilton was driving a backmarker, he would not have achieved these results.


Having said that, in a career that spans over 15 years, Hamilton has driven for two teams: McLaren and Mercedes. During his stay in both teams, they were the frontrunners. McLaren was already one in 2007 when he joined the team and Mercedes' surge to the front coincided with his move from McLaren in 2013.

brace yourselves for a very long thread: All of Sir Lewis Hamilton's records in F1 so far. [1/10]

Could there be an element of luck involved? Sure, in every sport, luck plays a part. However, not many drivers can boast of starting their careers in a championship-winning team. Ron Dennis saw something in Hamilton that he gave the youngster a seat in the team in 2007.

Similarly, Niki Lauda and Ross Brawn saw something in Hamilton that he was approached by Mercedes. More importantly, Hamilton took the plunge to move to Mercedes when the German team was not even a frontrunner (2012). He took the risk and deserved to reap the rewards as well.

Did Lewis Hamilton drive the best car on the grid for a huge part of his career? Yes, he did, but it's hard to deny that he deserved it as well.


That rookie season

Let's take a look at the landscape of F1 when Lewis Hamilton made his debut in 2007. Michael Schumacher had just retired from the sport. Fernando Alonso was the benchmark on the grid. He beat Schumacher fair and square in 2006 and was now the youngest two-time world champion. Coincidentally, Alonso was also going to be Hamilton's teammate at McLaren.

In just his rookie season, Hamilton teamed up with the reigning two-time world champion. For any young driver, this should be a daunting task. The expectation should be that the young driver plays the role of a strong supporting cast to the world champion.

Lewis Hamilton y Fernando Alonso, Canadá 2007. #F1

Well, this is not what happened. From the very first race of his rookie season, Lewis Hamilton was more or less performing on the same level as Fernando Alonso. He managed to win four races in his rookie season and almost won the title. To this day, there hasn't been a better rookie season by a driver. As soon as Hamilton stepped onto the big stage, he was ready to fight at the front. It's something that we just don't see in F1, this kind of talent and this kind of preparedness are rare and make the Briton a rare talent.


Those brilliant performances

When one looks back at Lewis Hamilton's career, there are far too many races where he just took his performance to a whole other level. One race that has personally stood out for me is the 2020 F1 Turkish GP. That season, the race, and the conditions in Turkey meant that this would be one of those races where Mercedes was not the front-runner. Despite that, Hamilton produced a masterclass.

Under those gloomy conditions, he did the entire race on an unprecedented single set of tires. If there was any race that proved Lewis Hamilton was not just a driver who benefitted from a fast car, then it was this. In that particular race, he showed patience, race awareness, and why he is considered one of the greatest drivers in the history of the sport.

Turkey is just one of his greatest drives. Singapore 2018 is another, where he just flipped the formbook on its head. Germany 2018 saw him charge through the field to win the race. These and so many others are just pure racing excellence and proof that the driver is just truly brilliant in a Formula 1 car.

Overcoming some serious adversities

Finally, something that everyone takes lightly is the struggle behind Lewis Hamilton's rise to F1. He is the first black driver in the sport and in an interview last year, he shared some anecdotes from his childhood where he faced racism.

Let's admit one thing, F1 is still a very exclusive club. For anyone to make it, they need a lot of resources, dedication, sacrifice, and luck.

Arise Sir @LewisHamilton KBE!

What a great person! Proudly black, supporter of women & LGBTQ+ rights, ultimate sportsman, 7(ish) time F1 world champion, dignified in the face of injustice.

We should rejoice that a person of colour - a black man - has been knighted. #BLM

Being a black kid climbing through the ranks in a sport where he would stick out like a sore thumb was never going to be easy. Even in the present day and age, we still don't have many drivers of color making it to F1. It's difficult to imagine what the situation might have been in the early 2000s when Hamilton was making his way through the junior categories.

The fact that he could overcome all of that and still make it to F1 is an achievement. The fact that he's stuck around and become the most successful driver in F1 history is the best he could have done with the opportunity provided to him. He is now an inspiration to so many kids across the globe. He's broken barriers and shown that anything is possible.

For a black kid coming from a less-than-privileged background, Lewis Hamilton has paved the way for a diverse generation of drivers to enter the sport.

Parting note

When I talk about Lewis Hamilton, I talk about the most successful driver in the history of the sport. I'm talking about a driver who has the best rookie season in Formula 1. I'm talking about a driver who has proven time and again that he's an elite talent and I'm talking about a driver who has broken boundaries and shown what is possible irrespective of where you come from.


How can anyone not respect what he has done? How can anyone who is a fan of Formula 1, not be a fan of this man?

I'm not stating that he does not have his faults, I'm also not saying that he is the best driver on the grid or the greatest of all time. What I'm saying is that if we take a look at what Lewis Hamilton has achieved in F1, it's hard not to respect that and it's even harder not to be a fan of the guy. That is why I feel every F1 fan should be a Lewis Hamilton fan!

Disclaimer: This article reflects the opinions of the writer

Edited by
Anurag C
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