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Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton is the most successful driver in F1 history with a record-equalling seven championships to his name and 103 victories (stands alone). Here is a detailed overview of his personal details, success on the race track, his key rivalries, his net worth, and much more.


39-year-old Lewis Hamilton began his F1 career back in 2007 with McLaren. The very next year, the British driver won his first championship in the sport. After racing for the team for six years from 2007-12, he decided to move to Mercedes in 2013. At the Silver Arrows, he won six more titles (2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020).
Height1.74 m (5’8.5)
Weight73 kgs
Championship Wins2008, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
But how did today's seven-time world champion find his way into F1?

Racing Career

Lewis Hamilton began his racing career in karting all the way back in 1993 as an eight-year-old. It barely took him anytime to begin winning races and also championships. Two years after Hamilton began karting, he won the British cadet karting championship, an achievement that gave him the confidence to approach then-McLaren CEO Ron Dennis. That is exactly when Hamilton uttered the famous words to Dennis, "Hi. I'm Lewis Hamilton. I won the British Championship and one day I want to be racing your cars". The 76-year-old did not forget Hamilton's direct approach to him, as in 1998, he called the young Briton and offered him a role in the McLaren driver development programme. The rest, as people say, is history. While Hamilton more than repaid McLaren's faith in him, the 39-year-old will not be where he's today had it not been for Dennis' help. From hiring a private tutor to ensuring that Hamilton did not fall behind in academics to hiring a neuroscientist to make him a race-winning machine, Dennis left no stone unturned in ensuring that the British driver got everything he needed to become successful in F1 from the moment he stepped into his team's car. Dennis is one of the main reasons that Hamilton today is compared with some of the greats such as Michael Schumacher and Aryton Senna. Another person who Hamilton perhaps owes a lot to is his former personal trainer, Angela Cullen. The duo may have gone their separate ways but Hamilton has certainly not forgotten Cullen's role in shaping his career. From helping him navigate through pain and injuries to being one of his closest friends, Hamilton believes he wouldn't have managed to stay in F1 for long had he not had Cullen by his side.


Fernando Alonso

While most fans believe that Lewis Hamilton's greatest rival is Max Verstappen because of the recent history the two drivers share with each other, the Briton has perhaps had equally feisty battles with some other drivers as well. It all began in 2007 when Hamilton joined double-world champion Fernando Alonso as a teammate at McLaren. Although Hamilton was just a rookie back then, he never backed down from a fight. In his very first season as teammates with Alonso, Hamilton made it abundantly clear that he was not at McLaren to play ball with the Spaniard but that he was there to win. And that is exactly what he did. Hamilton finished the 2007 season equal on points with Alonso and just a point behind eventual champion Kimi Raikkonen. Since Hamilton matched Alonso blow for blow, it made the Spaniard uncomfortable at McLaren. As a result, Alonso would leave the team after just one season, and the year after, Hamilton would have an infamous rivalry against Felipe Massa for the 2008 title.

Felipe Massa

Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa may have just had a tense rivalry with each other for one season, but as it turns out, that is the campaign that is still being widely discussed today. As many F1 fans would know, the 2008 season is primarily known for the infamous Crashgate scandal that had a huge role to play in determining who won the title. While it remains unclear about who is to blame for the scandal, it affected the image of F1 entirely. The Renault team ordered Nelson Piquet Jr. to put his own safety at risk by deliberately crashing into the barriers to get out a safety car that would help his then-teammate Fernando Alonso win the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix. While the French outfit's plan worked out to perfection as the Spaniard did clinch the victory, the crash also prevented Massa, who was fighting for the title with Hamilton, from winning the race. As a result, by the time the reason concluded, Hamilton edged out Massa by just one point to win his maiden title that year. While Hamilton's championship win was contentious even back in 2008, with more information available now, it has taken a much uglier turn with Massa now launching lawsuits against F1 and the FIA for deliberately turning a blind eye to the events of Crashgate.

Sebastian Vettel

Although Lewis Hamilton's rivalry with Sebastian Vettel was as tense as it could get on the race track, feelings of antipathy did not exist between the duo outside of F1. Moreover, Hamilton once also described his rivalry with the German as one of his favorites. As a result, it is not surprising that the two continue to have the greatest amount of respect for one another even when they are not racing. When it comes to their rivalry on the track, their rivalry was perhaps the most intense in 2017 and 2018, the years in which Ferrari produced a car that was capable of fighting Mercedes for wins. Just like any other rivalry, the battle between Hamilton and Vettel did also get ugly at times. The case in point is the 2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix. On that occasion, Vettel accused Hamilton of brake-testing him. As a result, Vettel deliberately drove into the Briton and also ended up receiving a penalty for the incident.

Nico Rosberg

Among all the rivalries, Lewis Hamilton's most tense battle before the 2021 season (with Max Verstappen) was arguably with Nico Rosberg during their time as teammates at Mercedes. While there were several moments of tension between them, it all began when they fought for the win at the 2014 Bahrain Grand Prix. The two then had some other fiesty moments as well on the race track but it was the 2016 season when the battle between them reached a tipping point. During this campaign, the two drivers could barely see eye to eye and also had several incidents on the race track. The 2016 Spanish GP is perhaps the perfect example. After Rosberg made a mistake while he was in the lead of the race, he tried his best to cover off Hamilton, even if it meant that the two would come agonizingly close and risk ruining their races. That's exactly what happened. Rosberg pushed Hamilton onto the grass and then the two would collide and take each other out of the race. A similar incident also took place at the Austrian GP the same year. However, on that occasion, it was only Rosberg's race that got ruined. He ended up finishing sixth despite starting in second. As for Hamilton, he went on to register the win from pole. Both drivers after the race blamed each other for the incident and this heated rivalry also got Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff all fired up.   With the rivalry already heated, it reached a climax at the season finale in Abu Dhabi. Rosberg entered the race with a 12-point lead from Hamilton and only needed to finish in the top three to win the title. While the German did manage to finish second, it was far from easy.   Hamilton tried everything in his potential to prevent Rosberg from doing that. The Briton defied team orders and deliberately backed Rosberg into the chasing pack, with the hope that the likes of Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen will overtake his teammate. Had both Vettel and Verstappen managed to do so, it would have indeed been Hamilton who would have won the title. However, Rosberg showcased immense composure and at the time became only the second driver in F1 history to beat Hamilton when on the same team. The other driver who did so was Jenson Button in 2011 with McLaren.