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Lewis Hamilton


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Lewis Hamilton(born January 7, 1985 in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, England) is a British Formula One racing driver. As of the 2007 Formula One season he drives for the McLaren Mercedes team. He made his F1 début at the Australian Grand Prix on 18 March 2007, finishing third, and became the first ever F1 driver to secure a podium (top three) finish in each of his first three World Championship Grands Prix.

Personal and early life

Hamilton's paternal grandparents emigrated to the United Kingdom from the Caribbean island of Grenada in the 1950s. He was educated at The John Henry Newman School. His grandfather worked on the London Underground.[3] In early 2007, Hamilton moved from Tewin Wood, Hertfordshire to Woking in Surrey in order to be closer to the McLaren factory. The Daily Mirror reported in March 2007 that he was dating a college girl called Jodia.[4] His father, Anthony, who named Lewis after the US Olympic gold medal winning athlete, Carl Lewis, [5] suffered a marital breakdown when Lewis was two, and was left to raise Lewis with his brother[6], at six, he began his racing career, when due to his hyperactivity, Anthony bought Lewis his first go-kart. Despite raising his family alone, he held down three jobs to support Lewis's career and still found enough time to attend every one of Lewis's races[7]. At the time he was eleven, Lewis came to Ron Dennis and told him, "I'm going to race for you one day...I'm going to race for McLaren." and was soon signed to McLaren's development programme.[8]

Racing career


Hamilton began karting in 1993 at the age of eight,[9] and quickly began winning races and championships.

He progressed through the Cadet (1995-6), Junior Yamaha (1997), Junior Intercontinental A (1998-9), Intercontinental A (1999) and Formula A (2000) ranks in six seasons. Following his karting successes, the British Racing Drivers’ Club made him a ‘Rising Star’ Member in 2000.[9]

Junior Formulas

Hamilton began his car racing career in the 2001 British Formula Renault Winter Series, finishing fifth overall.[9] This led to a full 2002 Formula Renault UK campaign with Manor Motorsport. Hamilton finished third overall with three wins and three pole positions.[9] He remained with Manor for another year and won the championship convincingly with ten wins, beating Alex Lloyd with 419 points to 377.[9] But his début appearance in British Formula Three was less successful – Hamilton crashed out of both races at the Brands Hatch season finale, being taken to hospital after the second.[9] He did show his speed at both the Macau and Korean Grand Prix. In the latter he qualified on pole position in his first visit to the Korean track and in only his fourth race outing in a F3 car.

Hamilton and Manor then made their debut in the 2004 Formula Three Euroseries. They won just one race and Hamilton was fifth in the championship. He also won the Bahrain F3 Superprix, race one of the Macau F3 Grand Prix, and had his first test in a McLaren F1 car in December[9] that year. He defected to reigning Euroseries champions ASM for the 2005 season and dominated the championship, winning 15 of the 20 rounds. He also won the Ultimate Masters of Formula 3 at Zandvoort.[9]

After the season, British magazine Autosport featured him in their “Top 50 Drivers of 2005” issue, ranking Hamilton 24th.[9] This success led him to join ART Grand Prix for the 2006 GP2 Series season. Like ASM in F3, ART were the class of the field and reigning champions having taken the 2005 GP2 crown with Nico Rosberg.[9]

Despite stiff opposition from rivals who had raced in the GP2 series during 2005, such as team mate Alexandre Prémat and Nelson Angelo Piquet, Lewis duly won the GP2 championship at his first attempt. Among his notable performances was a dominant win at the fifth round held at the Nürburgring, which he won after serving a penalty for speeding in the pits.[9]

At his home race at Silverstone, supporting the British Grand Prix, he impressed again by overtaking two rivals at Becketts, a series of high-speed (up to 150 mph in a GP2 car) bends where overtaking is rare. He demonstrated his overtaking prowess again at the race in Istanbul, when he recovered from a spin that left him 18th, to take second place in the final corners. He became GP2 champion in unusual circumstances. Giorgio Pantano won the penultimate race at Monza, and set the fastest lap on the final lap, initially taking this bonus point from Hamilton. However, it transpired that he had set this under a yellow flag, indicating to the officials that he had not slowed enough to avoid potential danger, leading to him losing the fastest lap, which instead gave Hamilton the single point he needed to clinch the title.

Formula 1

As early as 1994 Hamilton had introduced himself to McLaren team boss Ron Dennis, at that Year's Autosport Awards,[9] asking if he could drive for the team in the future.

In 1998 he was signed to the McLaren Driver Development Support programme. The contract included a future option on an F1 seat making Hamilton, thirteen at the time, the youngest driver ever to have an F1 contract.[9]

His 2006 GP2 championship coincided with a vacancy at McLaren following the departure of Juan Pablo Montoya to NASCAR and Kimi Räikkönen to Ferrari.[9]

After a long period of speculation of whether he, Pedro de la Rosa, Gary Paffett, or even Mika Häkkinen would drive for McLaren alongside World Champion Fernando Alonso for the 2007 Formula One season, Hamilton was confirmed as the team's second driver.[10] He was told of McLaren’s decision on September 30th, but the news was not made public until November 24, for fear that it would be overshadowed by Michael Schumacher’s retirement announcement.[9]

Hamilton was the first driver with prominent African or Caribbean ancestry to compete in Formula One,[11] although Willy T. Ribbs had tested a Formula One car over twenty years previously.[12] Hamilton started testing for McLaren in Spain in November 2006, and was occasionally quicker than Pedro de la Rosa and the rest of the field.

On his début at the 2007 Australian Grand Prix, he qualified 4th on the grid and finished 3rd in the race. This made him the thirteenth driver to finish on the podium in his Grand Prix début[13] (excluding those in the first ever World Championship round), the last being 1997 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve eleven years earlier. At the following race in Sepang he took second place in a McLaren one-two. That is now a record for the best result in the first two races by a F1 rookie. At Bahrain GP, Hamilton got his first front-row start, starting second behind the Ferrari of Felipe Massa, who later won the race. Hamilton finished second, becoming the first ever F1 driver to secure a podium finish in each of his first three World Championship Grands Prix.[14]

After this record-breaking start, Hamilton has been widely praised by the F1 community. Frank Williams has described him as "superhuman" and compared him to seven-times champion Michael Schumacher, Jackie Stewart has speculated that he could win the 2007 championship, and Martin Whitmarsh has said that he has the potential to become the greatest F1 driver ever. [1

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1 6 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 58 1:25:28.770 1 10

2 1 Fernando Alonso McLaren-Mercedes 58 +7.2 secs 2 8

3 2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 58 +18.5 secs 4 6

4 9 Nick Heidfeld BMW 58 +38.7 secs 3 5

5 3 Giancarlo Fisichella Renault 58 +66.4 secs 6 4

6 5 Felipe Massa Ferrari 58 +66.8 secs 22 3

7 16 Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 57 +1 Lap 12 2

8 11 Ralf Schumacher Toyota 57 +1 Lap 9 1

9 12 Jarno Trulli Toyota 57 +1 Lap 8

10 4 Heikki Kovalainen Renault 57 +1 Lap 13

11 8 Rubens Barrichello Honda 57 +1 Lap 16

12 22 Takuma Sato Super Aguri-Honda 57 +1 Lap 10

13 15 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 57 +1 Lap 7

14 18 Vitantonio Liuzzi STR-Ferrari 57 +1 Lap 19

15 7 Jenson Button Honda 57 +1 Lap 14

16 23 Anthony Davidson Super Aguri-Honda 56 +2 Laps 11

17 20 Adrian Sutil Spyker-Ferrari 56 +2 Laps 20

Ret 17 Alexander Wurz Williams-Toyota 48 Accident 15

Ret 14 David Coulthard Red Bull-Renault 48 Accident 18

Ret 10 Robert Kubica BMW 36 Gearbox 5

Ret 19 Scott Speed STR-Ferrari 28 Wheel 17

Ret 21 Christijan Albers Spyker-Ferrari 10 Accident 21


The opening round of the 2007 Formula 1 season, at Albert Park Melbourne Australia, featured some stunning debut performances. Finlands Kimi Raikkonen put his nightmare 2006 behind him, as he dominated the entire meeting to record a well earned victory in his first drive for his new team - Ferrari. However, possibly, even his drive was overshadowed by young English driver, Lewis Hamilton finishing on the podium in third place in his first ever Grand prix, having led the race at some point. The other podium position also featured a debutant drive as reigning World Champion, Fernando Alonso joined his young teamate in the top 3, in his first drive for his new team - Mclaren.

However, magnificent as Lewis performance was, it's only a start, of course the British media are going way over the top with the hype, already calling him a champion etc. Sure he showed that he's definately got what it takes, but give him time and space please. Don't try to pressure him into running before he can walk.

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Malaysian Grand Prix - Sepang , 8th April 2007

1 1 Fernando Alonso McLaren-Mercedes 56 1:32:14.930 2 10

2 2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 56 +17.5 secs 4 8

3 6 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 56 +18.3 secs 3 6

4 9 Nick Heidfeld BMW 56 +33.7 secs 5 5

5 5 Felipe Massa Ferrari 56 +36.7 secs 1 4

6 3 Giancarlo Fisichella Renault 56 +65.6 secs 12 3

7 12 Jarno Trulli Toyota 56 +70.1 secs 8 2

8 4 Heikki Kovalainen Renault 56 +72.0 secs 11 1

9 17 Alexander Wurz Williams-Toyota 56 +89.9 secs 19

10 15 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 56 +93.5 secs 10

11 8 Rubens Barrichello Honda 55 +1 Lap 22

12 7 Jenson Button Honda 55 +1 Lap 15

13 22 Takuma Sato Super Aguri-Honda 55 +1 Lap 14

14 19 Scott Speed STR-Ferrari 55 +1 Lap 17

15 11 Ralf Schumacher Toyota 55 +1 Lap 9

16 23 Anthony Davidson Super Aguri-Honda 55 +1 Lap 18

17 18 Vitantonio Liuzzi STR-Ferrari 55 +1 Lap 16

18 10 Robert Kubica BMW 55 +1 Lap 7

Ret 16 Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 42 +14 Laps 6

Ret 14 David Coulthard Red Bull-Renault 36 Brakes 13

Ret 21 Christijan Albers Spyker-Ferrari 7 Engine 20

Ret 20 Adrian Sutil Spyker-Ferrari 0 Accident 21


3 weeks ago in Australia Kimi Raikkonen put his miserable 2006 experience aside as he won the opening 2007 Grand Prix; this weekend it was the turn of his then team - McLaren - to demonstrate that they are back amongst the winners. Reigning Champ Fernando Alonso led his young teamate, Lewis Hamilton, home to record a superb 1-2 for the Woking based outfit. The decisive moves of the race occured riight at the first corner, as the McLaren boys seized the lead 2 places from Ferrari men Kimi & Polesitter Felippe Massa. The Brazilian then dropped to 5th behind an impressive Nick Heidfeld after a bodged attempt to take 2nd from Hamilton.

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