Sir Lewis Hamilton is a seven-time Formula 1 World Champion, which is tied for the all-time record and is also the all-time best in terms of wins (103), Pole Positions (103) and podiums (182).
When did Lewis Hamilton start racing?
He started racing in the pinnacle of motorsport in 2007 with McLaren. Moreover, the 37-year-old British driver started getting involved in car racing when he was only eight years old while driving an outdated machine.
After earning McLaren’s Ron Dennis support due to his driving skills at 13 years old, Hamilton dominated in the lower formulas and ultimately made the jump into Formula 1 straight into a big team after winning the 2006 GP2 championship.
After having arguably the greatest rookie season in Formula 1 history in 2007, finishing only one point away from winning his first title and establishing existing records for most wins, podiums, and points for a rookie, he won the title with McLaren in 2008.
When he won the 2008 F1 crown, the Englishman became the youngest to ever do it, a record only surpassed by Sebastian Vettel in 2010 since then. Hamilton stayed with McLaren until 2012, winning 21 races for the team (the third-most in the team’s history, behind Ayrton Senna —35— and Alain Prost —30—).
To this date, Hamilton is the most recent champion in McLaren’s illustrious journey in F1, and the only one in the 21st century. After joining Mercedes in 2013 and keeping his streak of winning a race in each of his seasons while winning the 2013 Hungarian GP, the 2014 season started a tremendous run of success for Hamilton, who had been recognized by many as the best driver on the grid even before then.
Hamilton won 11 races in 2014 and won the World Championship, while following it up with 10 wins in 2015 and a third title, equalling his idol Ayrton Senna’s record.
After falling in 2016 to Nico Rosberg in a year full of circumstances that aren’t often mentioned, such as strategic and engine failures, Hamilton won each year from 2017 to 2020, winning at least nine races in each of those years (and a maximum of 11).
He surpassed Formula 1 record of most wins for a driver at the 2020 Portuguese Grand Prix, when he won his 92nd Grand Prix, and then matched Formula 1’s all-time record for the most World Drivers’ Championships in the 2020 Turkish Grand Prix, where he sealed his seventh championship.
Hamilton put up a tremendous season in 2021, while not having the best car on the grid. He managed to win eight races and went into the final race of the season tied on points with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen. With Hamilton leading the final race comfortably, a late Safety Car and illegal handling of the Safety Car regulations by the race director helped Verstappen overtake the Englishman on the final lap.
Even though he was not allowed to win the 2021 Formula 1 title, such a fight without the best car on the grid is arguably why Sir Lewis Hamilton is the best driver of all time to many.