Sir Lewis Carl Davidson Hamilton is a British Formula One racing driver currently racing for the Mercedes Formula One team. He has won the Formula One World Championship 7 times, equalling the record set by Michael Schumacher. Lewis Hamilton was a young protege that started his career at McLaren in 2007 driving alongside 2-time World Champion Fernando Alonso. Lewis would win his first title with McLaren in just his second year in 2008 by beating Ferrari's Felipe Massa by just a single point. In 2012, Lewis Hamilton decided to leave McLaren and join Mercedes in what would become a career-defining move. Lewis would go on to win as many as 6 titles with the German outfit.
Lewis Hamilton has won a joint-record seven World Drivers' Championship titles (tied with Michael Schumacher), while he holds the outright records for the most wins (95), pole positions (98), and podium finishes (165), amongst others.
Lewis Hamilton was born in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, England on January 7, 1985. He would start karting at the age of 8 and would become the youngest driver to win the British Cadet Karting Championship at the age of 10. It was during this time that Lewis approached the then McLaren team boss Ron Dennis at the Autosport awards and said, "Hi. I'm Lewis Hamilton. I won the British Championship and one day I want to be racing your cars."
In 1998, Ron Dennis called Lewis Hamilton after his second Super One series and British championship wins to offer him a role in the McLaren driver development program. Lewis would steamroll his way through the junior categories, winning GP2 and F3 series on the way. In 2007, McLaren decided to put Lewis Hamilton in one of their cars against Fernando Alonso, the reigning two-time World Champion.
In just his debut year Lewis would come perilously close to winning his First title only to be denied in the final round of the season as he finished the season second just one point behind the eventual winner Kimi Raikkonen.
Lewis would right that wrong in 2008 as he would clinch the title on the last lap of the last race of the season to become the youngest Formula One Champion at that time. Lewis’s career would hit a rough patch post his first title triumph as a decline in Mclaren’s competitiveness would mean Lewis would finish no better than 4th in the championship standings in the next 4 years.
At the end of the 2012 season, Lewis would decide against extending his contract with Mclaren and made the move to Mercedes. In a move that coincided with the regulations change to V6 Turbos and the consequent Mercedes domination, Lewis would end up winning 6 more titles at Mercedes and breaking multiple records along the way.
In recognition of his achievements, the BRDC renamed the International Pit Straight at Silverstone as the "Hamilton Straight", the first time in the circuit's history that an area of the track has been named after an individual.
Hamilton has been credited with furthering Formula One's global following by appealing to a broader audience outside the sport. His high-profile lifestyle, environmental and social activism, and his exploits in music and fashion further magnifies his reach. Lewis Hamilton was listed in the 2020 issue of Time as one of the 100 most influential people globally and was knighted in the 2021 New Year Honours.
Lewis Hamilton stormed through the junior categories winning all the significant championships on his way to Formula One. He won the 2003 Formula Renault Championship beating Alex Lloyd with a couple of races to spare. In 2005, he dominated the Formula 3 Euro Series winning 15 of 20 races he started. In 2006 Hamilton graduated to GP2 Championship and won the championship convincingly again, beating the likes of Nelson Piquet Jr. in the process.
Formula One Career
In 2007, Mclaren finally decided to put Lewis Hamilton in their car. This also made Lewis the first black driver to race in Formula One. In his very first season, Lewis would have 2-time reigning world champion Fernando Alonso as his teammate. To the surprise of many Lewis would match up quite well with Alonso, challenging him from the very first race. He would challenge for the title in his very first year in Formula One, ultimately falling short by one point in the final race of the season.
Lewis would continue to impress in his second season as well. With Fernando Alonso out of the team, Lewis would fight Felipe Massa for the championship and ultimately clinch the title in the last lap of the last race of the season when he overtook Timo Glock. In the process, Lewis would become the youngest ever Formula One Champion at the time.
The years that followed were not as productive for Lewis as first the Brawn GP in 2009 and then Red Bull Racing from 2010-2013 will steal the march on the grid as Jenson Button(in 2009) and Sebastian Vettel(from 2010-2013) would win the championships respectively.
After years of unsuccessfully challenging for the title at Mclaren Lewis decided to switch teams and signed up with Mercedes for the 2013 season.
A move to Mercedes was defined by many as a gamble because the team had no heritage of winning in Formula One and at the time was not even a regular podium contender. Lewis, reunited with his old teammate from junior categories would secure a victory in the 2013 season as the German outfit began showing signs of improvement. Lewis would finish 4th in the championship while Mercedes finished the season as runner-ups to Red Bull Racing.
In 2014, Changes to regulations that mandated the use of V6 Turbo engines would slingshot Mercedes to the front of the grid as they enjoyed a significant advantage in terms of car performance. The 2014 season would see the two Mercedes drivers battle it out for the championship amongst themselves with Lewis Hamilton finally winning the title at the last race of the season in Abu Dhabi.
In 2015, it would be more of the same for Lewis and Mercedes as the gap between the Mercedes and the rest of the grid was just too large. Lewis and Mercedes would dominate the season as Lewis would clinch the title at US Grand Prix with 3 races to spare.
In 2016, Mercedes enjoyed an advantage similar to what it had in the previous seasons, Nico Rosberg, however, turned the tables as his consistent driving throughout the year helped him win the title by beating Lewis Hamilton by 5 points. Although Lewis secured more poles and wins throughout the season, a string of errors and bad luck helped Nico close down the gap that Lewis had enjoyed in the previous years. Nico Rosberg would announce his shock retirement shortly afterward.
In 2017 and 2018, with Rosberg no more part of the team, Lewis would have Ferrar’s Sebastian Vettel as his adversary. Ferrari had been able to close the gap to the Mercedes and that allowed Vettel to challenge Lewis regularly. The battle would get heated at times as both multiple champions would battle it out on the track. In both seasons Vettel would make critical errors that would cost him the title as the Lewis-Mercedes combo proved too much for Vettel and Ferrari. In the process, Lewis would surpass Sebastian Vettel as the winningest driver on the grid by winning 5 world championships compared to Vettel’s 4 title triumphs.
2019 and 2020 saw Hamilton and Mercedes come into their own yet again as Mercedes was able to stretch its advantage over Ferrari and Red Bull while Hamilton was able to keep his teammate Valteri Bottas at bay. Lewis dominated both the 2019 and 2020 seasons and won the title to make him the winningest driver in the history of Formula One. He passed the records set for most wins, most poles set by Michael Schumacher, and tied the record for most world championships.
Amidst Formula One's “We Race as One” initiative and growing awareness for the “Black Lives Matter” movement, Hamilton took the knee before every race he entered and wore t-shirts bearing the Black Lives Matter slogan.
- Best Driver ESPY Award(2017)
- Laureus World Sports Award for Breakthrough of the Year(2008)
- Laureus World Sports Award for Sportsman of the Year(2020)
- BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award(2014-2020)
- Times magazine one of the 100 most influential people in the world(2020)
- Awarded a Knighthood in UK’s new year honors list(2021)
- Joint Most World Championships(7)
- Most Career Wins
- Most wins in a Debut Season
- Most wins in a season without winning the world championship
- Most wins with the same team
- Most wins at the same Grand Prix
- Most wins at home Grand Prix
- Most wins from Pole Position
- Most wins in a calendar month
- Most Pole positions in a debut season
- Most Pole positions
- Pole Positions at different Grand Prix
- Pole Positions at same Grand Prix
- Most Consecutive race starts
- The most race starts with a single engine manufacturer
- Most races led from start to finish
- Most races led
- Most Grand Slams
Father: Anthony Hamilton
Mother: Carmen Larbalestier
Brother: Nicolas Hamilton