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Monday, 13 March 2017 18:47

Lewis Hamilton - Great Britain

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Lewis Hamilton in his Mercedes Garage Lewis Hamilton in his Mercedes Garage
Lewis Carl Davidson Hamilton,  MBE is a British Formula One racing driver from England, currently racing for the Mercedes AMG Petronas team. A three-time Formula One World Champion, he is regarded by fellow and former drivers as one of the greatest Formula One drivers in the history of the sport. He won his first title with McLaren in 2008 before moving to Mercedes, where he won back-to-back titles in 2014 and 2015.

In December 1995, at the age of ten, he approached McLaren team principal Ron Dennis at the Autosport Awards ceremony and told him, "I want to race for you one day... I want to race for McLaren." Less than three years later McLaren and Mercedes-Benz signed him to their Young Driver Support Programme. After winning the British Formula Renault, Formula Three Euroseries, and GP2 championships on his way up the racing career ladder, he drove for McLaren in 2007, making his Formula One debut 12 years after his initial encounter with Dennis. Hamilton's contract for the McLaren driver development program made him the youngest ever driver to secure a contract which later resulted in a Formula One drive.

Coming from a mixed background, with a black father and white mother, Hamilton is the first black driver to race in Formula One. Hamilton commented on this, saying "The way I see it, my colour is an advantage in that it's something people talk about", "Being the first black man doesn't matter much to me personally, but for the sport itself it probably means quite a lot."

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. He won the World Championship the following season in dramatic fashion, becoming the then-youngest Formula One World Champion in history before Sebastian Vettel broke the record two years later. Following his second world title in 2014, he was named BBC Sports Personality of the Year. In 2015, he became the first British driver in history to win consecutive F1 titles, and the second British driver to win three titles after Jackie Stewart. He also became the first English driver to reach that milestone. He is the first driver in the history of F1 to have made the podium after starting 20th place or lower at least 3 times. He is the only driver in the history of the sport to have won at least one race in each season he has competed to date, with McLaren from 2007 until 2012, and with Mercedes since 2013. He has more race victories than any other British driver in the history of Formula One. His 53 Grand Prix victories is the second highest of all-time having surpassed Alain Prost's total of 51 at the 2016 Brazilian Grand Prix, behind only Michael Schumacher at 91.Hamilton also holds the record for most wins in the season without winning the World Championship, after winning 10 times in the 2016 season where he finished runner-up to teammate Nico Rosberg.

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