The protagonists in this fiercely competitive sport of Formula 1 rely on immense skill, instincts, patience and determination to succeed but also on a hidden force which they thrive on. While Lewis is no exception to this, he has rarely followed the herd in his quest to find a winning formula. Instead he has decided to front up to the critics who repeatedly belittled him, harnessing his fears to rouse within him an energy and freedom that make him totally unique.
Originating from a humble background, Hamilton began go-karting at the tender age of 8 and after winning the McLaren Mercedes Drivers of the Future Championship, was drafted into their young driver program in 1997. By 2001, he was driving for British Formula Renault, winning the title in 2003 which would act as a springboard into Formula 1. He debuted for McLaren Mercedes in 2007 and won his first World Championship in 2008, a remarkable feat at just 23. Since then, he has cemented his place as one of the most successful drivers of all time, joining Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport in 2013 for whom he won a stunning brace of Championships in 2014 and 2015. The team continued its dominance in 2016, taking the Constructors' title in an epic battle in which his team-mate Nico Rosberg finally took the Drivers' crown. In 2017, Lewis returned to the top by taking his fourth Drivers' title, making him the most successful British driver in the history of the sport.
What is fascinating about Lewis is his reluctance to conform to the norms which one would associate with an elite athlete. His background does not exude privilege or prestige, yet he was supported by a strong father figure whom he cites as one of the motivational factors which helped him succeed. He did not rely on the stories of other drivers, instead looking to childhood heroes such as Mohammed Ali for inspiration. Yet he has also been fueled by an urge to prove his doubters wrong, generating within him the energy and freedom to succeed ; an edge which nobody else can parallel.
So what does the future have in store for Lewis? Surely he will be aiming for further success with the silver arrows and push to equal Michael Schumacher's incredible feat of securing 7 titles or indeed replicate some of the achievements of another inspiration, Ayrton Senna. At the top of his game, few would doubt his capacity to do so. Yet he also sees a life beyond racing where he can once again use his edge to find success in a new arena. The future is bright for the British whizz kid and we look forward to carry him from strength to strength.
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