The Quickie

A bite-sized look at this week's news…

Hamilton’s rise to stardom

Posted by jenz30 on November 4, 2008

Lewis Hamilton has just become the World Formula One Champion but he has been racing for years.


At the age of eight, Hamilton began karting and soon won races and championships.

In the period ranging from 1993-1997 he quickly rose through the Cadet ranks, progressing through Junior Yamaha and Junior intercontinental divisions.

Hamilton continued to succeed and rose through the ranks, eventually reaching the Formula Super A division with the

It quickly became clear that the British driver was very skilled when he became European Champion in 2000 with maximum points.

The British Racing Drivers’ Club picked up on this and made him a ‘Rising Star’ Member in the same year.

Former champion Michael Schumacher also realised his potential when he raced against him in 2001.

He’s a quality driver, very strong and only 16. If he keeps this up I’m sure he will reach F1. It’s something special to see a kid of his age out on the circuit. He’s clearly got the right racing mentality.”

Formula Renault and Formula Three

Hamilton began his car racing career in the 2001 British Formula Renault Winter Series.

He enjoyed success almost immediately, finishing third overall with three wins and three pole positions.

However, his spell at Formula three was less fruitful and at one point he was admitted to hospital after a collision with his team mate Tor Graves.


After only one season he won the championship. Consequently, British magazine Autosport featured Hamilton as one of their ‘Top 50 Drivers of 2005’.

In 2006, a vacancy arose in McLaren in Formula One as Juan Pablo Montoya went to NASCAR and Kimi Räikkönen went to Ferrari.

After some speculation, Hamilton was confirmed as the team’s second driver with Fernando Alonso.

2007 Formula One Season

The Briton got off to a great start by finishing second behind Massa in the Spanish Grand Prix to take the lead in the drivers’ championship.

He then finished third at Magny-Cours behind Ferrari drivers Kimi Räikkönen and Felipe Massa and extended his lead in the Driver’s Championship to 14 points.

But during the European Grand Prix, heavy rain hit and Hamilton spun off but managed to keep his engine running. He rejoined the race but finished ninth, meaning Alonso and Massa reduced Hamilton’s lead.

In Turkey, his lead was further cut and Alonso beat him in both the Italian and Belgian Grand Prix.

It all came to a head, much like this year, in Sao Paulo where Räikkönen narrowly won the Championship from Hamilton and Alonso.

The Briton was said to be extremely disappointed at the time, but this year surely has made up for it all.

Hamilton could not have looked happier.

Jennifer Willis-Jones (

For the main article, please click here


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