Lewis Hamilton could be a British champion
A young British Formula One racing driver has made history by breaking records for the best ever debut for a newcomer to the F1 drivers’ championship.
Lewis Hamilton is just 22 years old and has competed in only five F1 Grand Prix races, but is the only driver ever to finish in the top three in all five of his first races. He is also the youngest driver ever to lead the championship, breaking the record set in 1960 by Bruce McClaren.
Lewis is remarkable in other ways too. He is the first driver of Caribbean descent to compete in F1. Although he was born in Stevenage, England, his father’s parents came from the island of Grenada in the Caribbean.
His ambition and professional approach to racing from the earliest age is also the stuff of legend. He began racing go-karts at the age of six, quickly winning races and championships.
In 1995, at the age of ten, Lewis met Ron Dennis, the boss of the McClaren-Mercedes F1 racing team at an awards ceremony. Mr Dennis later said: "When I first met Lewis he was asking for my autograph. Without breaking eye contact, he told me how he was going to go about his career."
It really impressed him, and within a couple of years Lewis had joined the McClaren development programme and his journey to F1 stardom had begun.
Former F1 legends have been quick to spot the young racer’s potential. Triple world champion Niki Lauda said he had been "stunned" by Lewis’s first season in world championship competition.
Lauda, who raced in F1 for three decades, told a British newspaper that Lewis had "a clear mind to face the challenge of F1".
"It may seem absolutely amazing, but, yes, I can see Lewis winning the championship at the first attempt," said Niki Lauda.