Lewis Carl Hamilton born on January 7th, 1985 in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, England is a famous British Formula One racing star. Impressed by his extraordinary performances in racing, the British Racing Drivers' Club honored fifteen-year-old Lewis with the prestigious ‘Rising Star’ Membership in the year 2000. He is currently rated as the most talented racers in the Formula 1 circuit.
At the age of nine Hamilton had the guts to introduce himself to the ever famous Ron Dennis, the McLaren team boss at the 1994 Autosport Awards and asked for a chance to drive for his team in the near future. Shortly after four years, in 1998 Hamilton joined the McLaren driver development support programme and secured himself a future race seat with McLaren. Thus at the age of thirteen, Hamilton became the youngest racer ever to have signed a Formula One contract.
Lewis Hamilton started off karting at the age of eight when his father bought him his first go-kart. The racing wizard soon started winning races and championships, which included the 2000 European Formula A championship. The racing superstar has also achieved incredible victories in 2003 British Formula Renault championship with 10 victories and 11 pole positions. He later won the F3 Euroseries in 2005 with 15 victories and 13 pole positions. Finally in 2006, Hamilton won the world championship title in his first GP2 season.
In 2007 a vacancy was created at McLaren as Montoya moved over to NASCAR and Raikkonen to Ferrari, Lewis Hamilton was made the team's second driver much to the dismay of F1 critics and followers, who felt that Gary Paffett with enough experience was more qualified for a race seat than Hamilton.
Hamilton started off his 2007 F1 series for McLaren team on a spectacular note. Racing off from the fourth position on the grid, Hamilton with his lightning speed finished 3rd on the podium. Thus he became the thirteenth driver to finish on the podium on his GP debut. Eleven years earlier, World Champion Jacques Villeneuve achieved a similar feat in 1997. During his debut season Lewis has finished on the podium in all the 6 races he raced in. Finally the moment of glory came. Racing in only the sixth race of his Formula 1 career, Hamilton finally won the Canadian Grand Prix in a spectacular fashion. In the Canadian Grand Prix, Hamilton beat BMW Sauber's Nick Heidfeld by 4.3 seconds for his first win and sixth straight top-three finish. The second half of the 2007 season was filled with mixed results, including a futher 3 wins and disappointing results in the European, Chinese and Brazilian Grand Prix, Hamilton ultimately ended up losing the Drivers Championship to Kimi Raikkonen by a single point. On top of losing the Drivers Championship, McLaren were disqualified from the Constructors title due to the spy-gate incident which handed rivals Ferrari both titles for the 2007 season.
The 2008 season started with full expectation of Lewis taking the Drivers Title. He started the season well with a convinsing win in Melbourne, had a competitive car and a new team mate in Heikki Kovalainen (as Fernando Alonso returned to Renault after a public falling out with Ron Dennis and McLaren). Hamilton struggled to keep up with the Ferrari's of Massa and Raikkonen at the Malaysian and Bahrain Grand Prix finishing 5th and 13th respectively. Performances soon started to improve once the F1 season returned to the European ciruit with a 3rd in Spain and 2nd in Turkey. The following race was a rollercoaster for all teams as unforseen rain caused trouble for all teams. Despite an early puncture, Lewis was finally able to get his 2nd, and most prestigious win of the season. Rain played further into the hands of Hamilton in the Silverstone Grand Prix and conversly caused all sorts of problems for Ferrari. After China, Hamilton was 7 points clear of Massa and required only 5th place or better to be crowned 2008 World Champion. Fillipe Massa did everything he needed to do; qualified on pole position and won the race and had to just wait out the rest of the race which Hamilton was currently sitting in 6th after being over taken by Vettel with only 3 laps remaining. The Ferrari garage started to celebrate not only winning the Constructors title, but seemingly the Driver's title. This turned out to be premature however as 2 corners before crossing the start/finish line on the final lap, light rain had caused Timo Glock (who opted to stay on dry tyres) to slow right down and let both Vettel and Hamilton passed giving Lewis the needed 5th place in what was the most dramatic end to any Formula One season. Lewis had won the 2008 World Champion title, becoming the youngest ever driver to do so.
The 2009 season brought with it a vast number of rules and regulation changes that fundamentally changed Formula One. All teams had to design their cars from scratch and from pre-season testing, qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix and McLaren's own admission, it appeared Lewis would have the seemlingly impossible task of defending his 2008 title with an uncompetitive car.
Many Formula 1 followers have already started comparing this young driver to the racing legend Michael Schumacher. Time will tell if this young and talented racer with a heap load of potential can make it big on the Formula 1 circuit. If his sensational podium finishes in his first six Formula 1 races of his life (3rd, 2nd, 2nd, 2nd, 2nd, 1st) are any indication of his talent then we can surely say a champion is born.
The 24-year-old Englishman, the first black driver in Formula One history already commands a huge fan following in the Formula 1 circuit. Lewis Hamilton is currently dating Pussycat Dolls singer, Nicole Sherzinger.
Hamilton will be driving for the Mercedes factory in the 2013 season.
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