Lewis Hamilton Clinches 6th F1 World Championship Title
Last Sunday Lewis Hamilton etched his name even further into the motorsport history books as he clinched his 6th Formula One driver’s championship title in emphatic style in a tense United States Grand Prix.
It’s hard to imagine now, but no one could have predicted what was about to happen when a young Lewis Hamilton rolled into his grid slot on the opening weekend of the 2007 Formula One World Championship in Albert Park, Australia.
A name that had been on the fringes of F1 for a while, Hamilton turned up on the scene after producing a commanding display in the 2006 GP2 championship where wins at Silverstone added to his points tally and catapulted him to that year’s championship. For Lewis Hamilton in 2006, just getting on the radar of an F1 team was a realisation of a dream.
Born and raised in Stevenage, for a young Lewis Hamilton, F1 was but a dream, a distant reality. Racing Karts with the support of his father Anthony, Lewis began to learn his craft at a very early age and dovetailed his racing activity whilst trying to hold down his education.
Racing to success early on his career Hamilton soon swept to a number of Karting victories and Cadet class championships and junior Formulae soon beckoned. A period of his life where that famous encounter with Ron Dennis would occur. Approaching Dennis at an awards event, Lewis introduced himself and went on to express his desire to race in McLaren Formula One machinery in the not so distant future. Dennis signed Hamiltons autograph book and alongside his signature he scribbled. "Phone me in nine years, we'll sort something out then.”
This encounter would be the first of a strong relationship between Hamilton and McLaren and ultimately Mercedes-Benz. In 2001 Hamilton moved into Formula Renault and then later on into Formula Three. A partial campaign in 2001 yield strong results which led to a full-time drive in 2002 with Manor Motorsport in a season where he’d go on to finish 3rd in the standings.
Staying with Manor for another season allowed Hamilton to hone his talents and provided him with a springboard to launch a competitive season in 2003, a season in which he’d win his first single-seater car title in the Formula Renault UK Championship.
Now well on the way to climbing the single-seater ladder, Hamilton found himself in GP2 in 2006 and grabbed the opportunity with both hands. Now well on the radar of the Formula One paddock, Hamilton had the world at his feet and as he lifted that years GP2 crown, speculation on his next move was rife.
Despite speculation linking him with Williams from as early as 2004, Hamilton signed with McLaren to partner the also incoming Fernando Alonso in 2007. The course for Formula One greatness was set.
Much can be written about the turbulent 2007 season in which Alonso was arguably shown up by his new rookie teammate. The duo would go head to head throughout the season. By season close, both would be tied on points with both missing the title by a single point.
2008 was Hamiltons first year of title glory after he swept to championship honours on the final corner of the final lap of the final race of the season after an intense season-long battle with Ferrari’s Felipe Massa.
After Hamilton’s first title victory, McLaren would enter somewhat of a lean strike by McLaren standards and the team wouldn’t properly threaten for overall championship victories for the rest of Hamilton’s tenure despite some race-winning cars coming his way in the process.
It’s this lean streak that would lead Hamilton to move to Mercedes-Benz in 2013. This move was to be one of several catalysts for Mercedes-Benz dominance. With major engine regulation change arriving in 2014, Mercedes hit the ground running and produced dominant car after dominant car in a string of seasons that would see Hamilton add a second and a third crown in 2014 and 2015 respectively.
2016 would go Nico Rosberg’s way before announcing his sudden retirement. In came Valtteri Bottas and it wasn’t long before Hamilton was asserting his dominance over his new teammate. Further Mercedes championship successes would come in 2017 and 2018 to elevate Hamilton to five championship titles.
2019 adds another crown to Lewis Hamilton’s illustrious CV and set’s him up on a path to overall Formula One greatness. Hamilton has a very real chance of becoming the greatest of all time and toppling Micheal Schumacher’s all-time records. Another title and 8 more victories will see Lewis top the two major Formula One milestones and cement his place in history.
Whilst much is said and written about Hamilton, you have to appreciate what this man is building. A legacy like no other, Hamilton is arguably the greatest British sportsman of all time. Hamilton himself describes his achievements as an unfinished masterpiece and he has already expressed his desire to stay on in the sport into the era of the new rules in 2021, stating he is at the top of his game.
What we are witnessing is history. A period of motorsport history that needs to be savoured as we watch one of the greatest motorsport stories unfoldi in front of our eyes and it’s one story at Premier GT that we hope to see unfolding for many seasons to come.
Congratulations Lewis Hamilton on a commanding 6th Formula One Drivers title.