Lewis Hamilton has been one of the greatest Formula One drivers in British history.
The two-time world champion has featured in the sport since 2007, winning 35 races for McLaren and Mercedes. He bounced back from a disappointing Malaysian Grand Prix to win the Chinese Grand Prix on Sunday, and the 30-year-old is leading the way at the top of the Drivers Championship and is on the way to winning back-to-back titles. We take a look at his F1 story so far, and discuss the highlights of Hamilton’s career.
A podium in his debut race
Hamilton was announced as Fernando Alonso’s partner prior to the start of the 2007 season, and the Brit finished third in the Australian Grand Prix – after qualifying in fourth place – to become only the thirteenth driver to finish on the podium in their first F1 career race.
Later in the same season, the 30-year-old earned his first pole position in the Canadian Grand Prix, qualifying ahead of team-mate Alonso. Hamilton led from the front for most of the race, despite four safety car deployments, to secure his first victory in the sport.
Victory in the Silverstone Grand Prix
Hamilton won his first home race in 2008 after he finished third in his debut season. The 2008 race was difficult, with heavy rain ensuring treacherous conditions on track. However, the Brit held his nerve and navigated a wet Silverstone to secure victory in front of his home fans – one of the greatest achievements of his career.
Winning the World Championship in 2008
The youngster needed to finish 5th in the Brazilian Grand Prix – the last race of the campaign – to secure the title. Filipe Massa had already crossed the line and was celebrating before Hamilton overtook Timo Glock to steal the title and spark wild celebrations in the McLaren garage. He was the first British winner since Damon Hill in 1996.
His move to Mercedes
His time at McLaren was over in September 2013, as Hamilton signed a three year deal with Mercedes. The Brit would replace veteran Michael Schumacher at the German team, and believed that the move would significantly improve his chances of winning a second world title.
Hamilton won his second title in his maiden season with Mercedes. After a phenomenal year-long battle with team-mate and rival Nico Rosberg, the Briton secured the championship in the final race of the calendar. The 30-year-old was excellent throughout the year and was a deserved winner, as Mercedes won the Constructors championship too.