‘Still I Rise’
Lewis Hamilton is one of the most successful Formula One racing drivers of all time. He has won a joint-record seven World Drivers' Championship titles, tied with Michael Schumacher, holds the records for the most wins at 95, 98 pole positions and 165 podium finishes and currently races for Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team in Brackley.
He was born in 1985 in Stevenage and was introduced to racing by his father Anthony who bought him a remote-controlled car. Hamilton was soon winning RC Racing championships until father introduced him to karting at the age of eight. His rise was meteoric, winning the British karting championship and STP karting championship two years later.
In 1997 at the age of twelve, he won the Junior Yamaha and the Champion of the Future for a second time, plus the Super One Series, making him British Champion.
All current F1 drivers started their careers in karts, so if you're eyeing your son up for Formula One greatness, you better start in primary school.
His drive, focus and ambition revealed itself early on, when at the age of nine he approached Ron Dennis at McLaren and declared "Hi, I’m Lewis Hamilton. I won the British championship and one day I want to be racing your cars."
Ron Dennis purportedly wrote in his autograph book "Phone me in nine years, we'll sort something out then".
Hamilton has his motto tattooed across his shoulders and on his helmet 'Still I Rise'.
He joined the McLaren young driver programme in 1998, finally racing in Formula One for Mclaren in 2007, regarded as the greatest rookie performance in F1 history.
Hamilton was knighted in 2021 for his environmental and social activism as well as his success in racing and fashion. He currently resides in Monaco, whilst maintaining properties in London and Los Angeles and has a 28 metre Sunseeker 90 Yacht, plus a rather enviable supercar collection.
His garage includes a V12 Mercedes-Maybach S600, a Mercedes SUV, a Cadillac Escalade, a Ferrari 599 Aperta, a Pagani Zonda 760LH, a Ferrari LaFerrari, a Shelby 427 Cobra, a Mustang Shelby GT500, a McLaren P1 and a Mercedes-AMG One. He views cars as both a knowledgeable investment and his passion.
Interestingly enough if Lewis Hamilton were to design a supercar he would have it in manual, as he is not a fan of automatic gearboxes.
Driving is not his only skill, he can sing and rap with the best. He secretly sang a duo with Christina Aguilera in 2018 called "Pipe" and also creates his own music in between races. Check his Instagram for his music musings, he has 21.5 million followers.
Lewis dated Nicole Scherzinger for eight years, but they apparently split over Lewis' commitment to career over family. He has been linked to model Barbara Palvin, Winnie Harlow and Kendall Jenner, singers Rihanna and Rita Ora. He is currently dating Nick Minaj, but often laments that his career does not leave much time for a love life.
Hamilton is the first black Formula One racing driver in its seventy-year history. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter protests he has begun using his fame and influence to raise awareness of the issues of racial injustice and inequality. He appeared at the Tuscan Grand Prix wearing a "Arrest the cops that killed Breonna Taylor" t-shirt and even encouraged Mercedes-Amp to change their traditional silver livery to black to show their support. In 2020 he set up the Hamilton Commission to engage more young people from black backgrounds in motorsport and engineering.
He has also announced the creation of his own race team, Team X44, starting in Extreme E, a new off-road electric SUV racing series and is looking to employ people from BAME backgrounds. Each SUV will be shared between one female and one male driver, aiming to reduce the gender disparity in motorsport.
As the man says "Still I rise", whilst hopefully bringing many up with him to build an impressive and lasting legacy.