Lewis Hamilton is the hottest property in F1 motor racing at the moment and the great thing is he’s British! A few months ago the name Lewis Hamilton was relatively unknown to the general public, but he had made a name for himself among motor racing insiders and those who are Formula One or F1 fans. His phenomenal rise to the top of Grand Prix racing began at the start of this season and has continued until Lewis Hamilton now leads the F1 World Championship standings after 8 races.
Lewis Hamilton was born in the Hertfordshire town of Stevenage in January 1985. From a modest English family background, Lewis began racing go-karts when he was aged 8. It is very common for many of the top motor racing drivers to start kart racing from a very young age. Karting is just like F1 racing only much smaller; there is even a karting World Championship series. Young drivers gain valuable racing experience together with a grounding in all the qualities required to become a successful motor racing driver as they climb up through the ranks. It goes without saying that many of the top F1 teams keep a close eye on the karting arena to get an early idea of potential future racing superstars.
At the age of 10, Lewis Hamilton won the McLaren Mercedes Championship of the Future series, and this is where he first met Ron Dennis who is the owner and boss of the UK-based McLaren Formula 1 racing team. A 10-year old Lewis Hamilton apparently told Ron Dennis that he wanted to race in Formula 1. It is said that Ron replied “…. Speak to me when you’re eighteen son”. However, McLaren ended up signing Lewis to their young drivers programme when he turned 13 years of age and provided support for his fledgling career as he progressed through the ranks of karting and car racing, culminating in Lewis Hamilton being given a full-time McLaren F1 Grand Prix drive for the 2007 season.
Motor racing insiders knew that prior to the Lewis Hamilton F1 career, he was regarded as one of the most promising young drivers on the circuit. He won several major karting titles including the European Formula A championship in 2000. In 2003 he won the British Formula Renault championship after only a year in the car, attaining 10 race wins and 11 pole positions. This is early proof that Lewis Hamilton is a very fast learner. After a further 1 year gaining knowledge in the prestigious F3 Euroseries, he won the F3 title in 2005 with a comprehensive 15 race wins and 13 pole positions. A year later he won yet another championship, winning the GP2 series championship in his rookie year. The GP2 race series is the step below Formula One.