Hamilton special: career, achievements, trivia, personal life

Lewis Hamilton is one of the strongest drivers in Formula 1 history.
With 7 world titles won, the British champion is, along with Michael Schumacher, the recordman for number of world championships won.

Hamilton boasts the most GPs held behind the wheel of Mercedes and the most races won (103) ever, as well as holding the record for the longest streak of consecutive grand prix finishes. But let’s find out more about the star player and man Lewis Hamilton.

Lewis Hamilton: birth, family, first steps in F1

Hamilton and Father Brazil 2008

Lewis Carl Davidson Hamilton, known to all as Lewis Hamilton, was born in Stevenage, southern United Kingdom, on January 7, 1985, to Anthony Hamilton and Carmen Larbalestier. He has Central American ancestry on his father’s side since his grandfather came to England in the 1950s from the Caribbean island of Grenada.

He approached the world of motorsports at the age of 6: his father, sensing Lewis’s talent early on, invested all his savings to allow him to enter the world of karts, in which the future champion took his first steps.

At only 12 years old, after making his mark in several categories of British karting, he was placed under contract with McLaren, where he continued his apprenticeship and further refined his crystalline talent. In 2000, at age 15, he became European champion in the Formula A Kart Championship, earning him a move to Formula Renault, categories that would see him triumph in 2003 (winning 10 of the 15 total races).

Hamilton’s escalation was unstoppable: in 2005 he won the title in the F3 Euro Series and the following year the title in GP2, a category in which he had just replaced Nico Rosberg at the wheel of the French ART Grand Prix team. On Nov. 24, 2006, after years of success in categories reserved for young talent, Ron Dennis, then president of McLaren, was persuaded to offer Hamilton an official contract with the highly prestigious British manufacturer and entrust him with a Formula 1 car.

The debut in Formula 1

The 2007 Formula 1 season saw Lewis Hamilton flank Fernando Alonso in the McLaren pits. The Spaniard is defending champion for the past two years and has just completed his own move to McLaren, leaving Renault. All indications, therefore, are that for Lewis Hamilton the debut season will be one of apprenticeship and second official guide, alongside an established champion and prime candidate for the final victory. Contrary to expectations, however, the Englishman immediately took the stage, winning 9 consecutive podiums (with two victories in Canada and the United States) in the first 9 races of the year (and of his career).

Lewis Hamilton 2007 Britain 2

The first success in F1 for Lewis came during the sixth GP of the season, at the Canadian circuit of Montreal, on June 10, 2007: Hamilton sealed a perfect weekend-which had also seen him win the first pole of his career-by finishing the race ahead of everyone and moving himself into the championship lead (before the race he was first on equal points with his boxmate).

The second part of the season proves much more complicated, however: Hamilton finishes tenth at the Nürburgring (damaged by a crash at the start with Nick Heidfeld), but he remains at the top of the world championship, two points ahead of Alonso, while the Ferraris of Massa and Räikkönen lag heavily behind at that time. The end of the championship is incredible: in the last 7 GPs, Finland’s Kimi Räikkönen, up to that point of the season disappointing in public opinion, wins seven podiums, distributed in two third places, two second places and three victories.

The decisive moment is on the penultimate day, October 7, 2007, in China: at that point in the championship, Hamilton is in the lead, with a 12-point advantage over Alonso and a good 17 points over Räikkönen; the Englishman also wins the pole, getting closer and closer to the final triumph, which would come in the event of a GP triumph, but in the race the imponderable happens: McLaren’s wrong stop strategy, Lewis’s tires don’t hold up and the Englishman ends up outside, postponing the talk until the last GP, scheduled in Brazil two weeks later.

Hamilton arrives at the last race with a reassuring lead (+4 over Alonso and +7 over Räikkönen), but the race will prove nefarious for him and for McLaren: the Englishman gets off to a bad start, gets nervous and goes long at one of the first corners, slipping to eighth position; Räikkönen runs away while the Englishman remains bottled up. At the end of the race, the Finn is first, Hamilton only seventh, ending the overall standings with one point less than the Ferrarista and the same as Alonso: 110 for the Ferrarista, 109 for the two Ferrari guides.

The first rainbow success in 2008

At the starting gate of the 2008 Formula 1 championship, Lewis Hamilton is only 23 years old, but he has already established himself as a rising star in the circus and considered the favorite for ultimate success. The dualism in the McLaren pits has been resolved in the Englishman’s favor; Alonso has returned to Renault, and Finnish Heikki Kovalainen is chosen in his place to be Hamilton’s teammate.

It seems clear that the challenge will be between the Englishman and the two Ferraristi Felipe Massa and Kimi Räikkönen, although the former records a double zero points in the first two races of the year (which will prove decisive at the end of the season).

2880px Lewis Hamilton 2008

Over the course of the championship, Hamilton did not shine, but he impressed with continuity of performance: in the end, out of 18 races he would win five, with two second and three third places. Arriving at the last GP with a 7-point lead over Massa, a fifth place finish is enough to become World Champion, exactly the position he will occupy at the end of the Brazil race won by Massa: November 2, 2008, Lewis Hamilton becomes world champion for the first time, consecrating himself, at 23 years and 300 days, the youngest winner of an F1 World Championship (a record snatched by Vettel two seasons later and still held by the German).

The years suffered in McLaren: 2009-2012

What seemed a parable destined to rise from year to year was interrupted in 2009, the year McLaren entered a regressive phase that would prevent the British champion from competing for the title. Two new cars emerged strongly in 2009: the Brawn Mercedes of Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello and the Red Bull – Renault of Max Webber and Sebastian Vettel. Hamilton finished the season only fifth, while Button became world champion for the first (and last) time aboard Brawn.

2010 saw the final consecration of the highly ambitious Red Bull, brought to the roof of the world for the first time by Vettel. Hamilton, who has since been joined in the pits by reigning world champion Jenson Button, does not go beyond a fourth-place finish and also finishes behind Alonso and Webber, driving the Ferrari and the second Red Bull, respectively.

The two-year period 2011-2012 marked the end of the story between Hamilton and McLaren: after another fifth and fourth place finish, the Englishman decided to change teams and, on September 28, 2012, officially announced his move to Mercedes.

The years in Mercedes: entering the myth

2013 for Lewis Hamilton is a year of transition: the Mercedes proves competitive on the dry lap, but inferior to Red Bull and Ferrari on the race pace. In the end, for the fourth time in a row, it will be Sebastian Vettel in the Red Bull who will be crowned world champion, while Lewis finishes fourth, with less than half the points of the winner. In return, he finishes ahead of teammate Nico Rosberg.

From 2014, however, began the era of Mercedes-Hamilton domination that would allow the latter to go down in history as one of the strongest drivers ever. The Mercedes proved to be unassailable from the first races: in the first race the Englishman was forced to retire, but he later won the next four world championship races, hoisting himself to the top of the standings and never letting go. On October 12, 2014, Hamilton became world champion for the second time in his career, with 3 grands prix in advance.

The rainbow encore, for Hamilton, came in 2015, at the end of another season in which Mercedes was unrivaled: Hamilton won 10 races, put up 17 podiums and finished the championship with 381 points, +59 from boxmate Nico Rosberg.

Lewis Hamilton 2010 Malaysia 1st Free Practice

Hamilton’s dominance comes to an unpredictable halt in 2016, a season that will see the triumph of his box mate Nico Rosberg, with a 5-point lead over the Englishman (385 to 380); to no avail for the latter the comeback attempt marked by the incredible string of successes in the last 4 GP races: Rosberg always comes in behind him, preserving the lead in the standings and winning the Formula 1 world championship for the first time in his career.

2017-2020: world poker, parallels with Schumacher

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In 2017 Lewis Hamilton returns absolute ruler of the scene: reigning champion and boxmate Nico Rosberg has decided to retire and is replaced by Valtteri Bottas. The rivalry between Mercedes and Ferrari turns out to be the German team’s prerogative from the very beginning, although until the 13th round, the duel between Hamilton and Vettel is heated: after the Italian GP won by the German, the standings read: Hamilton 238 points, Vettel 135. The next race in Singapore, however, saw Vettel go out in an accident and Hamilton win the race, escaping to +28 in the overall standings. In the next 6 final races, the Englishman administered and consolidated the lead, eventually winning his fourth Formula 1 world championship.

The two-year period 2018-19 is magical for Lewis Hamilton, who drives an almost unrivaled Mercedes and dominates the Formula 1 championship for two years. In both years, Lewis totaled nearly 100 points more than the runner-up and, on October 27, 2019, at the end of the triumphant Mexican GP, he won world championship number six, minus one from Michael Schumacher’s record.

Record to be equaled during the 2020 season, that of the fourth world championship in a row for Hamilton: if the other seasons had given an embarrassing Mercedes overpower, the year 2020 confirms and consolidates the trend: Hamilton will end the season with 347 points, +124 from his boxmate Valtteri Bottas and +133 from Max Verstappen, first of the non-Mercedes drivers. On Oct. 25, 2020, he won the Portuguese GP, becoming, with 92 wins, the driver with the most GP wins in history and snatching Michael Schumacher’s previous record of 91 total wins. At the end of the season, Hamilton won his seventh world championship, nabbing the German giant in this special ranking as well: never before had anyone managed to win 7 Formula 1 world championships.

2021 Instead, it is the year in which Hamilton is forced to abdicate: at the end of an incredible duel from the first to the last race with Red Bull driver Max Verstappen, the Briton, after 4 years, has to leave the throne to the newcomer, who will end the season with 8 points more than him.

Hamilton and Mercedes: how much he earns today

Lewis Hamilton is to date the highest-paid driver in Formula 1: thanks to a 40 million euro a year salary, Lewis was, according to Forbes rankings, the eighth highest-paid sportsman in 2021. His current contract with Mercedes expires in 2023.

Lewis Hamilton 2014 China

Hamilton's tattoos: the lion and "Still I rise"

Lewis Hamilton has a veritable personal motto, engraved on his helmet and back: “StillIrise,” testifying to a strong and determined personality. Lewis is indeed an aggressive driver, often criticized for his maneuvers at the limits of the rules, but the Briton has always claimed this trait with pride. Also testifying to this particular disposition to confrontation and competition are his numerous tattoos: a cross with wings covering his entire back, a lion on his left shoulder, and a compass rose on his chest.

Lewis Hamilton and private life: girlfriend and family

When he was only two years old, in 1987, Hamilton faced the separation of his parents: until he was 12 years old, he lived with his mother and his two half-sisters Nicholas and Samantha, later going to live with his father and his new partner at the age of 12.

In 2017, he chose to embrace the vegan diet and lifestyle model and, at the same time, undertook a series of social initiatives to benefit the environment and animals.

In early 2022 it was announced that Hamilton and Dominican model Camila Kendra had separated after a relationship that lasted several months. His most important and well-known relationship is with U.S. artist Nicole Scherzinger, a relationship that lasted from 2007 to 2015.

Fun fact: In 2021, Lewis Hamilton was named Sir at an award ceremony attended by Prince Charles.

Lewis Hamilton on MotorSport

Collectors, enthusiasts, and fans will find a huge offer of models and gadgets dedicated to Lewis Hamilton on our store:

Included in the store you will find as many as three Mercedes models driven by the British legend

 

 

Here instead are the caps dedicated to Lewis Hamilton:

Check out all of our offerings on Hamilton

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