Lewis Carl Davidson Hamilton is a British Formula One racing driver from England, currently racing for the Mercedes Formula one team. He has won the formula one world championship title five times equaling the record of Juan Manuel Fangio, first in 2008 for McLaren Mercedes then in 2014, 2015,2017 and 2018 for the Mercedes AMG formula one team. Hamilton holds the all time record for number of pole position's in Formula one history. His F1 debut was with McLaren in 2007.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.
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, and have remained with the team ever since and is currently partnered with the Valtteri Bottas as his team mate.
Only a very few drivers have had a sensational maiden season coming into the F1 arena like Lewis Hamilton’s. The remarkable rookie campaign went on to produce statistically the most successful British driver in the history of the sport with 4 championships and 64 race wins behind his name (as of now).
Road to F1
Starting Karting at the age of 8 years in 1993, within 2 years he went on to become the youngest ever winner of the British Cadet Kart Championship. Hamilton began his car racing career in the 2001 British Formula Renault Winter Series. Despite crashing on his third lap in the car in testing, he finished fifth overall in the winter series, which led to a full 2002 Formula Renault UK campaign with the Manor Motorsport. He retained his signing for the following year too as he finished third overall in the standings. That year he went on to win the title, even by missing the last 2 races, which he had to, to debut in the season finale of the British Formula 3 Championship.
Williams was ready to sign the current World Champion back in 2004 itself but did not because BMW was not ready to fund him. Eventually, Hamilton moved on to ART Grand Prix GP2 racing team following his success in Formula Three. The British driver went on to the GP2 championship on his very first attempt beating Nelson Piquet Jr. and Timo Glock. His dominant performance in 2016 season coincided with the vacancy at McLaren, with Juan Pablo Montoya switching to NASCAR and Kimi Raikkonen moving to Ferrari.
Entering F1 arena in 2007 season partnered with double World Champion Fernando Alonso who had joined McLaren the same year after leaving Renault, went on to finish at 3rd place in his very first race. Hamilton became the 13th driver in entire F1 history to finish at the podium in debut. He went on to become the youngest ever driver to lead the World Championship, finishing second to Felipe Massa by just short of 1 point.
After the controversy between Hamilton and Alonso regarding the team radio profanity during the Monaco GP and Hungarian GP, Alonso departed from McLaren giving way to Heikki Kovalainen in 2008. At the Brazilian Grand Prix, Hamilton needed to finish at least fifth, if Massa won the race, to secure the World Championship. Managed a tough competition from Vettel to maintain his 5th place, Hamilton denied the race-winner Felipe Massa the title by one point. This meant that Lewis Hamilton went on to become the youngest driver, first black driver and the first British driver (since Damon Hill in 1996) to win the F1 championship title.
After a frustrating 2009 season, McLaren signed the Brawn’s title champion Jenson Button to drive alongside Hamilton for the 2010 season, when Hamilton came close to the title finishing second just behind Vettel, who broke Hamilton’s record for being the youngest ever F1 world champion.
The rise of the Champion
Hamilton finishing at 4th and 5th places in 2011 and 2012 season, moved on to Mercedes-AMG F1 team signing a 3-year contract partnering alongside Nico Rosberg. Despite not many podiums, he finished the 2013 season at 4th place behind Vettel, Alonso, and Webber. From then on it was tour de force Hamilton, won the championship title in 2014, 2015 seasons and runner-up in 2016 falling behind Rosberg by 5 points due to the engine failure at Malaysian GP, followed by his 4th world title in 2017 season.
The net worth of Lewis Hamilton is estimated to be around $280 million , the four-time world champion is already chasing his 5th world title in 2018 and is one of the best bets to win it.
Hamilton is the highest paid and the richest F1 driver listed in Forbes 2018.
The British driver signed a contract extension with Mercedes F1 team until 2020 for a whopping 40 million pounds a year and will be accompanied by Valtteri Bottas for 2019.
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