Lewis Carl Davidson Hamilton is a British race car driver. Hamilton’s parents named him after sprinter Carl Lewis. He was born on 7 January 1985 in Stevenage, a town in southeast England. He comes from a mixed race family: his father is originally from the Caribbean island of Grenada and his mother is of Anglo-Saxon descent. From the outset of his racing career Hamilton has been linked to McLaren Mercedes team. He signed his contract in 1998, when he was just 13 years old after having dominated the British karting Championships since the age of 10. The McLaren Mercedes team has funded and supported Hamilton in every stage of his career.
The original contract also included the option for a future spot in Formula 1 behind the wheel of the McLaren car. In 2007 his dream was realised. His teammate was the bi-world champion Alonso, with whom a heated rivalry immediately starts. In te five short years between his successes in Formula 3 and the GP2 championship, rookie Hamilton earned a place on a staggering nine podiums. Whenever the title seemed within reach, however, he would falter and make a series of costly mistakes, such as in Turkey, China and in the last race of the year in Brazil. Despite four victories on the Brazilian circuit, it wasn’t enough to win the title, that would go to Raikkonen.
But Hamilton’s celebration was only being postponed. At the end of the 2008 season in Brazil he would snatch the title away from a stunned Massa. The legendary Brazilian driver was just about to become World Champion but Lewis was just a few corners from the checkered flag, passing Glock and thus winning fifth place and eventually the title. Lewis Hamilton became the first driver of color to become a world champion in Formula 1. 2009 proved to be a challenging year, as Hamilton was unable to defend his title also because his car was underperforming. In 2010, however, Lewis returned to his role as a leader on the track. In the six races leading up to the championship he was ranked number one. Unfortunately, collisions with Massa in Monza and Webber in Singapore ruined his chances for a second world championship.
Just like the previous year, Hamilton enjoyed three successes in 2011, but was never in serious contention for the title. Vettel dominated that season and his opponents never stood a chance: Hamilton would finish in a discouraging sixth place. In 2013 Lewis Hamilton signed with Mercedes, which since several years had established its own team of Formula 1. He replaced Michael Schumacher after his retirement. The car is competitive, but not yet ready to allow Hamilton to win the championship title. The wait was not too long as the next season, in 2014, was dominated by his Mercedes and by that of his teammate, German Nico Rosberg. A fierce rivalry on the track starts between the two. In the end Hamilton wins, becoming world champion for the second time in his career. Aggressive and bold enough to border on a reckless of times, Hamilton may be pushing himself to the limit without calculating the risks. As a result he often incurs the criticisms of colleagues and experts. The most successful newcomer in the history of Formula 1, Lewis Hamilton is one of the most talented and controversial drivers in the automotive world.