Lewis Hamilton
Formula One racing driver
Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Carl Davidson Hamilton, MBE is a British Formula One racing driver from England, currently racing for the McLaren team. He was the 2008 Formula One World Champion. Hamilton was born in Stevenage, Hertfordshire. 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.
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Lewis Hamilton not missing Rosberg as he looks ahead to new F1 season
Guardian (UK) - about 23 hours
• ‘I have never missed a team-mate in my life. There is always another one’ • New wider, lower and heavier Mercedes car launched at Silverstone There was little love lost between Lewis Hamilton and his former Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg by the time the latter secured the Formula One world championship in Abu Dhabi last season, after which the German promptly retired. Dwelling on a friendship lost to the white heat of competition was not on the agenda, however, for the British driver when he helped unveil his new car for 2017, despite the pair having been close when they raced one another in their early years. He also conceded that he, too, has considered retirement but returns as eager to compete as ever. Despite winning the last four races of 2016, even though he was hampered by mechanical failures and some poor starts, Hamilton was beaten to his fourth title by five points, after which Rosberg shocked the team by bringing his career to a close. He has been replaced by Valtteri Bo ...
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Guardian (UK) article
Formula One’s Season: Familiar, but With Twists and Turns
NYTimes - 3 months
Three key stories emerged: the Nico Rosberg-Lewis Hamilton rivalry at Mercedes, Red Bull’s surge with a teenage driver and the woes of Ferrari.
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NYTimes article
Formula One - Hamilton sad, not surprised by Rosberg retirement
Yahoo News - 3 months
- Lewis Hamilton says he is "sad but not surprised" at Nico Rosberg's sudden decision to quit Formula One. Rosberg stunned motor sport when announcing his retirement on Friday, five days after finally claiming his maiden world title. Hamilton and Rosberg's careers have developed in tandem, from the go-kart circuits of their teenage years to F1 and the dominant Mercedes team.
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Yahoo News article
F1 bosses vote Hamilton best driver, Rosberg third
Reuters.com - 3 months
LONDON (Reuters) - Formula One team bosses have voted Lewis Hamilton the sport's best driver, despite the Briton losing his title to Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg, in an annual Autosport magazine poll.
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Reuters.com article
Hamilton hands over title as a winner
Reuters.com - 3 months
ABU DHABI (Reuters) - The podium celebration was muted, and the smile looked forced, but Lewis Hamilton said he still felt great after winning a season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix that handed his title to Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg.
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Reuters.com article
Formula One's Mercedes Is the Most Awkward Team in Sports
Wall Street Journal - 3 months
When the biggest rivals in the sport—Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg—drive for the same team, things get complicated.
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Wall Street Journal article
Formula One - Title-chasing Hamilton admits 'impossible odds'
Yahoo News - 3 months
- Lewis Hamilton may face "impossible odds" but he has vowed to "give everything" to stop Nico Rosberg winning the Formula One world championship at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Sunday. Hamilton has won the last three races to move to within 12 points of his Mercedes teammate. "It's not been a perfect season and I'm faced with pretty impossible odds no matter what I do this weekend," Hamilton said.
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Yahoo News article
McLaren shareholders have rejected bids, not looking to sell
Yahoo News - 3 months
By Costas Pitas WOKING, England, Nov 18 (Reuters) - Shareholders in McLaren's Formula One team and luxury sports car sister company are committed to both businesses and have turned down bids from prospective buyers, the CEO of the brand's automotive firm told Reuters on Friday. Ron Dennis, who headed the McLaren Technology Group (MTG) that runs the Grand Prix racing team, was forced out this week after what Sky News said was a dispute over a Chinese takeover bid that Dennis backed and other investors opposed. Founded in 1963 by Bruce McLaren and known for winning titles with drivers such as Lewis Hamilton, the British brand set up a separate sports car maker known as McLaren Automotive in 2010 to rival the likes of Ferrari and Aston Martin.
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Yahoo News article
End of an era as Dennis quits as Formula One's McLaren chief
Yahoo News - 3 months
Ron Dennis confirmed on Tuesday he has quit as boss of Formula One outfit McLaren after 35 years following pressure from shareholders. The 69-year-old -- who helped guide the likes of Lewis Hamilton and Ayrton Senna to the world title -- quit after shareholders demanded at a meeting on Tuesday he step down as chairman and chief executive. Dennis has a 25 percent stake in McLaren whilst Bahrain's Mumtalakat investment fund owns 50% and the remaining 25% is held by his long-time business partner Mansour Ojjeh, a Saudi-born Frenchman.
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Brazil win leaves Hamilton in 'awkward' position
Yahoo News - 3 months
By Alan Baldwin SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Winning is not enough now for Lewis Hamilton who would welcome a helping hand from rivals Red Bull in his Formula One title showdown with Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg next week. Rosberg will be crowned world champion for the first time if the German finishes on the podium at the Abu Dhabi finale, even if Hamilton takes his fourth race victory in a row and 10th for the season. It almost happened in Brazil on Sunday with Max Verstappen overtaking Rosberg for second place behind Hamilton only for Red Bull to then make the wrong tire choice and put the Dutch teenager on intermediates that needed changing again for wets.
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Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Lewis Hamilton
  • 2016
    On 10 July 2016, Hamilton completed a hat-trick of home wins by triumphing in the British Grand Prix to cut his Mercedes team-mate's championship lead to just one point.
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    On 3 July 2016, Hamilton went on to win the Austrian Grand Prix despite having a last lap collision with Rosberg.
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  • 2015
    In February 2015, it was reported that Hamilton had purchased a Ferrari LaFerrari from "his rivals in Maranello."
    More Details Hide Details Hamilton has an estimated personal fortune of £88m.
    In 2015, Hamilton added 2 stars to his helmet to celebrate his two world championships (2008, 2014), adding a third star after the 2015 US Grand Prix to celebrate winning his third championship in 2015.
    More Details Hide Details key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap) key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap) key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap) Did not finish, but was classified as he had completed more than 90% of the race distance. Half points awarded as less than 75% of race distance was completed. During the course of his career, season-by-season Hamilton has beaten nearly all his team-mates on total points, including two World Champions. The only exception was in 2011 when Jenson Button beat him by 43 points. † - Hamilton beat Alonso to 2nd in the Championship on countback of 2nd places (both had 4 wins), 5 to 4 ‡ - Season still in progress
    In 2015, he became the first British driver in history to win consecutive F1 titles, and the second Brit to win three titles after Jackie Stewart.
    More Details Hide Details 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 and is currently third on the all-time wins list, with wins.
  • 2014
    Hamilton is a fan of art; one of his favourite artists is Andy Warhol. Prior to the 2014 United States Grand Prix, Hamilton wore a gold-framed version of Warhol's Cars, Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Coupe painting hanging from a chain around his neck.
    More Details Hide Details One of Hamilton's favourite cars is the AC Cobra. He owns two unrestored 1967 models, one black and one red.
  • 2012
    In 2012, Hamilton featured in the cartoon Tooned, alongside Jenson Button and comedian Alexander Armstrong.
    More Details Hide Details On 18 December 2007, Hamilton was suspended from driving in France for a month after being caught speeding at on a French motorway. His Mercedes-Benz CLK was also impounded. Two days before the 2010 Australian Grand Prix, Victoria Police witnessed Hamilton "deliberately losing traction" in his silver Mercedes-AMG C63, and impounded the car for 48 hours. Hamilton immediately released a statement of apology for "driving in an over-exuberant manner". After being charged with intentionally losing control of a vehicle, Hamilton was eventually fined A$500 (£288), being described as a "Hoon" racer by the magistrate.
    At the start of 2012, he moved his personal residence from Switzerland to Monaco, which is also a tax haven.
    More Details Hide Details At the start of 2013, Hamilton took delivery of a metallic red and black Bombardier Challenger 600 series private jet, tail plate number G-LCDH. Hamilton was awarded an MBE by the Queen in the 2009 New Year Honours. On 18 March 2009, Madame Tussauds unveiled a waxwork of Hamilton in his Vodafone McLaren Mercedes race suit. This wax replica cost around £150,000 and took over six months to complete.
    On 28 September 2012, it was announced after much speculation that Hamilton would be leaving McLaren after the 2012 season to join the Mercedes-Benz works team for the season onwards, partnering Nico Rosberg after signing a three-year contract with the team.
    More Details Hide Details In his first race weekend for Mercedes, the, Hamilton qualified in third and ended the race in fifth place. Hamilton finished third in Malaysia to take his first podium for the team, although Nico Rosberg was prevented from attempting to overtake him by team orders. At the following race in China, Hamilton secured his first pole position for Mercedes. At Monaco after being out-qualified by his team-mate Rosberg for the third successive race, Hamilton admitted that he was struggling to control the car under braking. Prior to the race, both Red Bull and Ferrari had lodged formal complaints against Mercedes for taking part in what was determined to be an illegal tyre test. Neither Mercedes drivers received any punishment for the breach of rules, and Mercedes was given a reprimand. At the, Hamilton secured his first race win as a Mercedes driver, the first British driver to win a Formula One race in a Mercedes works car since Stirling Moss did so at the 1955 British Grand Prix, at Silverstone. He won the race from an unexpected pole position, eventually crossing the line nearly 11 seconds ahead of second-place finisher Kimi Räikkönen. By winning the Hungarian Grand Prix, Hamilton continued his personal record of winning at least one race prior to the mid-season break, and went into the summer break in the fourth place in the Drivers' Championship. At the he secured his fifth and last pole position of the season and finished the race third.
    Hamilton achieved his first victory of the season at the – winning the race for the third time – after overtaking Fernando Alonso in the closing stages. Hamilton won the on 29 July 2012 to claim his second win of the season.
    More Details Hide Details Hamilton, along with championship leader Fernando Alonso, retired from the after being involved in a multiple car accident on the first corner of the race. Romain Grosjean was deemed responsible for causing the accident and was given a one-race ban. Hamilton bounced back with pole position for the, and led for the majority of the race to claim his third victory of the season and keep his hopes of winning the Drivers' Championship alive. Hamilton again qualified on pole at the, but suffered a gearbox failure whilst leading the race. He also retired from the lead of the, before he won the in Austin. Hamilton's season ended with another pole position and retirement in the Brazilian GP, when he was involved in a collision with Nico Hülkenberg while leading in the late stages.
    Hamilton remained at McLaren alongside Button for the 2012 season.
    More Details Hide Details Hamilton qualified in pole position for the, but finished third after being passed by Button at the start, and by Vettel after pitting before a safety car. Hamilton again qualified on pole for the, but in the race was passed early on by Fernando Alonso and Sergio Pérez, finishing third. Hamilton took his third consecutive third-place finish in China, with Nico Rosberg and Button ahead. Hamilton qualified in second place in Bahrain, but during the race, a series of poor pitstops put him out of contention, and he finished eighth. Hamilton was also involved in a controversial racing incident with Rosberg, with Rosberg appearing to push Hamilton off track while he attempted to overtake. Hamilton qualified on pole position for the, but had to stop the car on track in order for a reputable fuel sample to be given post-qualifying. The stewards decided he had breached qualifying rules introduced after a similar incident involving Hamilton at the 2010 Canadian Grand Prix. Race stewards excluded him from the qualifying results, and demoted him to the back of the grid; but despite this, Hamilton finished eighth, ahead of Button, who had started in tenth.
  • 2011
    In Germany, Hamilton took his second victory of 2011 as he held off Webber and Alonso.
    More Details Hide Details In Hungary Hamilton had five pitstops and a drive-through penalty for sending Paul di Resta onto the grass as he finished fourth. He finished fourth at Monza after a race long battle with Michael Schumacher, who he refused to blame the German after his aggressive tactics. In, Hamilton caused an accident with Felipe Massa which left Hamilton needing a new front wing and a drive through penalty. Hamilton was accused by Massa of being "incapable of using his brain," during a post race interview. Whilst the pair conducted interviews, Massa grabbed Hamilton's shoulder saying "Good job, man, well done" which Hamilton responded by telling the Brazilian to leave him alone. Before the Japanese Grand Prix Hamilton insisted that he had not done anything wrong during the season. During the race Hamilton suffered a puncture before once again tangling with Massa; despite Ferrari pushing for Hamilton to be punished, Hamilton escaped a reprimand as he finished fifth. Hamilton later told Massa to "grow up", after admitting that his Formula One career had driven over a cliff.
    At the start of the 2011 season Hamilton dismissed Red Bull Racing as "just a drinks company".
    More Details Hide Details Hamilton began the season qualifying and finishing second in the, despite having to deal with a damaged floor on his McLaren. In the, he qualified second and finished seventh on-the-road, struggling partly due to tyre wear and being tagged by Ferrari's Fernando Alonso in the closing stages. Hamilton received a 20-second time penalty post-race for weaving whilst defending and unsuitable driving, which dropped Hamilton to eighth place. Hamilton took his first win of the season in China. He then finished fourth in Turkey, and second in Spain. In Monaco, he qualified tenth after Q3 was red-flagged before he could set a competitive time due to a heavy crash from Sergio Pérez. During the race Hamilton received a drive through penalty after he bumped into Massa at the Hotel Harpin. Later on, Alguersuari crashed into Hamilton, breaking his rear wing; the race was red-flagged as Petrov crashed at the same time allowing his team to fix the car. On the restart he had a collision with Maldonado at Sainte Devote, which later he was given a 20-second time penalty for but it did not affect his finishing position. In an interview with the BBC Hamilton, said that he had been to the stewards five races out of six thus far in the season and felt victimised. When prompted why he had been to the stewards so much Hamilton replied "Maybe it's because I'm black.
  • 2010
    In the Grand Prix, Hamilton claimed his first victory of the 2010 season as he and Button completed a 1–2.
    More Details Hide Details Hamilton qualified on pole for the, continuing a 100% pole record at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. After setting his pole lap, Hamilton received instructions from his team to stop on circuit due to a lack of fuel in the car which would not be equivalent to the level necessary for a sample to be taken by the FIA. Hamilton was reprimanded after failing to complete his in-lap in a sufficient time, while his team received a $10,000 fine. But Hamilton went on to win the race and take the lead in the Drivers' Championship after McLaren's third 1–2 of the season. In Valencia Alonso complained on his radio that Hamilton had gained an advantage by not following the safety car which led to the stewards giving Hamilton a drive through penalty. However Alonso and the Ferrari were furious as the length of time to make a decision meant that the penalty did not alter the result of the race as Hamilton finished second. This led to Hamilton to accuse Alonso of "sour grapes", although the pair reconciled before the next race.
    Hamilton ended his working relationship with his father in early 2010 and subsequently signed a management deal in March 2011 with Simon Fuller's firm XIX Entertainment.
    More Details Hide Details In November 2014, Hamilton announced that he would not be renewing his management contract with Fuller. Hamilton was educated at The John Henry Newman School, a voluntary aided Catholic secondary school in Stevenage, Hertfordshire. Alongside his interest for racing, he played association football for his school team with England international midfielder Ashley Young. Hamilton said that if Formula One had not worked for him he would have been a footballer, being a big fan of Arsenal F.C. or a cricketer, having played both for his school teams as a youngster. He subsequently attended, in February 2001, Cambridge Arts and Sciences (CATS), a private sixth-form college in Cambridge. At the age of five Hamilton took up karate to defend himself as a result of bullying at school. At around 12, he learned to ride a unicycle, as part of his karting rivalry with future F1 Mercedes teammate, Nico Rosberg, who could already ride one.
  • 2008
    On 4 February 2008, Hamilton was verbally heckled and otherwise abused during pre-season testing at the Circuit de Catalunya in Catalonia by several Spanish spectators who wore black face paint and black wigs, as well as shirts bearing the words "Hamilton's ".
    More Details Hide Details Hamilton became widely unpopular in Spain because of his rivalry with Spanish former team-mate Fernando Alonso. The FIA have warned Spanish authorities about the repetition of such behaviour. In reaction to this behaviour, the FIA announced on 13 February 2008 that it will launch a "Race Against Racism" campaign. Shortly before the 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix, a website owned by the Spanish branch of the New York-based advertising agency TBWA and named "pinchalaruedadeHamilton" (burst Hamilton's tyre) was featured in the British media. The website contained an animated image of Interlagos that allowed users to leave nails and porcupines on the track for Hamilton's car to run over. Among thousands of comments left since 2007, some included racial insults. His rival Fernando Alonso condemned the racist supporters. Hamilton started the season-opening from 18th place on the grid after the McLaren team incurred a penalty for changing his gearbox during qualifying. Hamilton benefited from a late crash between Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel and BMW Sauber's Robert Kubica to move into fourth place by the end of the race. He was then promoted to third after Jarno Trulli was penalised for overtaking him under safety-car conditions. During a post-race stewards' hearing, Hamilton and McLaren officials told stewards they had not purposely let Trulli pass, but it was revealed by release of the McLaren race radio communication that this was not true. Hamilton was then disqualified from the race for providing "misleading evidence" during the stewards' hearing.
    This meant that Hamilton had clinched the 2008 Formula One World Championship, becoming the youngest driver to win the title, as well as the first black driver.
    More Details Hide Details He is also the first British driver to win the World Championship since Damon Hill triumphed in 1996. Racial abuse
    Hamilton won the first race of the 2008 season, the, having qualified on pole position.
    More Details Hide Details In Malaysia, he finished fifth after he had started from ninth on the grid, serving a penalty for impeding Nick Heidfeld's qualifying lap. He was back on the podium in Spain finishing third. Hamilton finished second in Turkey, and won the, putting him in the lead of the championship. In Montreal, Hamilton crashed into the back of Räikkönen during the race, after failing to see that the Finn was waiting at a red light at the end of the pit lane as the whole field went past under the guide of the safety car. Both cars were forced to retire and Hamilton was given a 10 position grid penalty for the next race, the. Despite an error in qualifying that saw him start fourth on the grid, Hamilton went on to win the in difficult, wet conditions. His performance was stated as being one of his best drives to date. Hamilton himself said in the post race press conference that it was his most difficult and most meaningful win. In the next race at Hockenheim, Hamilton won the race despite a tactical blunder by the team.
    In January 2008, Hamilton signed a new five-year multimillion-pound contract to stay with McLaren-Mercedes until the end of the 2012 season.
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  • 2007
    In November 2007, Hamilton started dating Nicole Scherzinger, the lead singer of the American girl band Pussycat Dolls; it was announced in January 2010 that they split up to focus on their respective careers. However, they were seen together at the 2010 Turkish Grand Prix and at the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal, on 13 June 2010. The couple split up and reunited numerous times between 2011 and 2013, but appeared to have got back together in November 2013. They split up again in February 2015.
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    From his debut in 2007 until 2010 his helmet was yellow with a metallic green ribbon on the upper visor and a metallic blue ribbon on the lower visor (these being visually near identical to the helmet of Ayrton Senna, apart from the fact that their designs did not loop all around the back of the helmet, but were cut off either side of the helmet.) It furthermore featured a bright red diagonal patch where these stripes bordered the visor.
    More Details Hide Details The yellow however was not a rich, sunburst yellow like Senna's helmet but was a whiter, pastel yellow. From 2011 onwards Hamilton's helmet was changed whereby it no longer resembled Senna's helmet as much as it had done. The green and blue ribbons were changed to the diagonal style of the red patch, with a single red stripe behind the helmet with the letters "Hamilton" printed within it. For the 2011 Brazilian Grand Prix, Hamilton wore a special helmet that was a fusion of his post 2011 helmet, and that of Ayrton Senna. The helmet was auctioned after the race in aid of the Ayrton Senna Foundation. He has also worn special helmets in honour of Bob Marley (India 2011) and Michael Jackson (USA 2013). In 2014, Hamilton changed his helmet colour for the first time since his karting days, using a white helmet with red stripes in the shape of his 2011 design.
    The rivalry between Hamilton and teammate Alonso led to speculation that one of the pair would leave McLaren at the end of the 2007 season and Alonso and McLaren subsequently terminated their contract by mutual consent on 2 November 2007.
    More Details Hide Details On 14 December 2007, it was confirmed that Heikki Kovalainen who drove for Renault in 2007 would drive the second car for McLaren-Mercedes for the 2008 Formula One season alongside Hamilton.
    Following the stewards' investigation into the incident at the 2007 Japanese Grand Prix, Alonso stated: "I'm not thinking of this championship any more, it's been decided off the track.
    More Details Hide Details The drivers' briefing has no purpose. You go there to hear what Charlie Whiting and the other officials say. Twenty one drivers have an opinion, Charlie and the officials another, and so it's like talking to a wall".
    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.
    More Details Hide Details 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.
    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.
    More Details Hide Details 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 often labelled "the first black driver in Formula One", although Willy T. Ribbs tested a Formula One car in 1986.
  • 2006
    His 2006 GP2 championship coincided with a vacancy at McLaren following the departure of Juan Pablo Montoya to NASCAR and Kimi Räikkönen to Ferrari.
    More Details Hide Details After months of speculation on whether Hamilton, Pedro de la Rosa or Gary Paffett would be paired with defending champion Fernando Alonso for, Hamilton was confirmed as the team's second driver. He was told of McLaren's decision on 30 September, but the news was not made public until 24 November, for fear that it would be overshadowed by Michael Schumacher's retirement announcement. It was announced prior to the start of the season that Hamilton would be partnering defending double World Champion Fernando Alonso who had joined McLaren after leaving Renault. On his debut at the, he finished third in the race, becoming the thirteenth driver to finish on the podium in his first F1 career race (excluding those in the first ever World Championship round). In Bahrain and Barcelona, Hamilton finished second behind Felipe Massa to take the lead in the drivers championship. This meant that Hamilton broke Bruce McLaren's record of being the youngest driver to ever lead the world championship.
    Due to his success in Formula Three, he moved to ASM's sister GP2 team ART Grand Prix for 2006. Just like their sister team in F3, ART were the leaders of the field and reigning champions having taken the 2005 GP2 crown with Nico Rosberg.
    More Details Hide Details Hamilton won the GP2 championship at his first attempt, beating Nelson Piquet, Jr. and Timo Glock. His performances included a dominant win at the Nürburgring, despite serving a penalty for speeding in the pit lane. At his home race at Silverstone, supporting the, Hamilton overtook two rivals at Becketts, a series of high-speed (up to 150 mph in a GP2 car) bends where overtaking is rare. In Istanbul he recovered from a spin that left him in eighteenth place to take second position in the final corners. He won the title in unusual circumstances, inheriting the final point he needed after Giorgio Pantano was stripped of fastest lap in the Monza feature race. In the sprint race, though he finished second with Piquet sixth, he finished twelve points clear of his rival.
  • 2005
    After the season British magazine Autosport featured him in their "Top 50 Drivers of 2005" issue, ranking Hamilton 24th.
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    Hamilton moved to the reigning Euro Series champions ASM for the 2005 season and dominated the championship, winning 15 of the 20 rounds.
    More Details Hide Details This would have been 16 but for being disqualified from one win at Spa-Francorchamps on a technical infringement that caught out several other drivers. He also won the Marlboro Masters of Formula 3 at Zandvoort.
  • 2004
    Hamilton first tested for McLaren in late 2004 at Silverstone.
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    Hamilton eventually re-signed with McLaren, and made his debut with Manor in the 2004 Formula 3 Euro Series.
    More Details Hide Details They won one race and Hamilton ended the year fifth in the championship. He also won the Bahrain F3 Superprix and raced one of the Macau F3 Grand Prix.
  • 2002
    Asked in 2002 about the prospect of becoming one of the youngest ever Formula One drivers, Hamilton replied that his goal was "not to be the youngest in F1 but to be experienced and then show what I can do in F1".
    More Details Hide Details Later in 2004, Williams would announce that they had come close to signing him but were refused the opportunity due to BMW, their engine supplier at the time, refusing to fund Hamilton's career.
  • 2001
    Hamilton began his car racing career in the 2001 British Formula Renault Winter Series.
    More Details Hide Details Despite crashing on his third lap in the car in testing, he finished fifth overall in the winter series. This led to a full 2002 Formula Renault UK campaign with Manor Motorsport. Hamilton finished third overall with three wins and three pole positions. He remained with Manor for another year and won the championship with ten wins and 419 points to the two wins and 377 points of his nearest rival, Alex Lloyd. Having clinched the championship, Hamilton missed the last two races of the season to make his debut in the season finale of the British Formula 3 Championship. Here he was less successful: in the first race he was forced out with a puncture, and in the second he crashed out and was taken to hospital after a collision with his team-mate Tor Graves. He did show his speed at both the Macau Grand Prix and Korea Super Prix, in the latter he qualified on pole position in his first visit to the track and in only his fourth F3 race.
    In 2001, Michael Schumacher made a one-off return to karts and competed against Hamilton along with other future F1 drivers Vitantonio Liuzzi and Nico Rosberg.
    More Details Hide Details Hamilton ended the final in seventh, four places behind Schumacher. Although the two saw little of each other on the track Schumacher praised the young Briton (see quote box).
  • 2000
    Following his karting successes the British Racing Drivers' Club made him a "Rising Star" Member in 2000.
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    Hamilton continued his progress in the Intercontinental A (1999), Formula A (2000) and Formula Super A (2001) ranks, and became European Champion in 2000 with maximum points.
    More Details Hide Details In Formula A and Formula Super A, racing for TeamMBM.com, his team mate was Nico Rosberg who would later drive for the Williams and Mercedes teams in Formula One; they would later team up again for Mercedes in 2013.
  • 1998
    From the Cadet ranks, he progressed through to Junior Yamaha (1997) and Ron Dennis actually called him in 1998 after Hamilton won an additional Super One series and his second British championship.
    More Details Hide Details Dennis delivered on his promise and signed Hamilton to the McLaren driver development program. This contract included an option of a future F1 seat, which would eventually make Hamilton the youngest ever driver to secure a contract which later resulted in an F1 drive.
  • 1995
    Hamilton's relationship with McLaren team boss Ron Dennis dates back to 1995, with the first indication that Hamilton was unhappy with his team appearing after he finished second at Monaco in 2007.
    More Details Hide Details After post-race comments made by Hamilton which suggested he had been forced into a supporting role, the FIA initiated an inquiry to determine whether McLaren had broken rules by enforcing team orders. McLaren denied favouring double world champion Fernando Alonso, and the FIA subsequently vindicated the team, stating that: "McLaren were able to pursue an optimum team strategy because they had a substantial advantage over all other cars. They did nothing which could be described as interfering with the race result". The tensions within the team surfaced again at the 2007 Hungarian Grand Prix. During the final qualifying session for the race Hamilton was delayed in the pits by Alonso and thus unable to set a final lap time before the end of the session. McLaren pointed out that Hamilton had disobeyed an earlier instruction to let Alonso pass in qualifying, for fear of losing his own position. Alonso was relegated to sixth place on the starting grid, thus elevating Hamilton (who had originally qualified second) to first, while McLaren were docked constructors championship points. Hamilton said he thought Alonso's penalty was "quite light if anything" and only regretted the loss of constructors' points. Hamilton was reported to have sworn at Dennis on the team radio following the incident. British motorsport journal Autosport claimed that this "led Dennis to throw his headphones on the pit wall in disgust (a gesture that was misinterpreted by many to be in reaction to Alonso's pole)".
    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...
    More Details Hide Details I want to race for McLaren." Less than three years later McLaren and Mercedes-Benz signed him to their Young Driver Support Programme.
  • 1993
    Hamilton began karting in 1993 at the age of eight, at the Rye House Kart Circuit and quickly began winning races and Cadet class championships.
    More Details Hide Details At the age of ten he approached McLaren F1 team boss Ron Dennis for an autograph, and told him, "Hi. I'm Lewis Hamilton. I won the British Championship and one day I want to be racing your cars." Dennis wrote in his autograph book, "Phone me in nine years, we'll sort something out then." Hamilton drove for Martin Hines's Zip Young Guns Karting Team.
  • 1991
    Hamilton's father bought him a radio-controlled car in 1991, which gave him his first taste of racing competition.
    More Details Hide Details Hamilton finished second in the national BRCA championship the following year. He said of the time: "I was racing these remote-controlled cars and winning club championships against adults". As a result of this his father bought him his first go-kart as a Christmas present at the age of six. His father told him that he would support his racing career as long as he worked hard at school. Supporting his son became problematic, which caused him to take redundancy from his position as an IT Manager and become a contractor. He was sometimes employed in up to three jobs at a time, while still managing to find enough time to attend all Hamilton's races. He later set up his own computer company as well as working as a full-time manager for Hamilton.
  • 1985
    Hamilton was born on 7 January 1985 in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, England.
    More Details Hide Details Although widely reported as being named after American sprinter Carl Lewis, Hamilton states that this is not the case. Hamilton's mother, Carmen (Larbalestier), is white British, while his father, Anthony Hamilton, is black British, making him mixed-race; Anthony Hamilton's parents moved to the UK from Grenada in the 1950s. Lewis Hamilton's parents separated when he was two; as a result of this, he lived with his mother and half-sisters Nicola and Samantha until he was twelve, when he started living with his father, stepmother Linda and half-brother Nicolas, also a professional racing driver, who has cerebral palsy. In early 2011, Nicolas signed with Total Control Racing to start a racing career in the 2011 Renault Clio Cup. Hamilton was raised a Roman Catholic.
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