Born on January 7th, 1985 in Hertfordshire in the UK, Lewis Carl Hamilton started his racing career in karts and was signed by McLaren at the tender age of just 12.
Lewis spent his youth winning championships, most notably the 2000 European Kart Championship, and progressed quickly to British Formula Renault. It was thanks to the support he received from McLaren that Lewis was able to move through the motor-sporting ranks at quite a pace, and by the end of 2005 Hamilton had claimed the Formula Three Euroseries title and the prestigious Ultimate Masters of Formula Three at Zandvoort.
In 2006, Lewis drove for the ART Grand Prix team in GP2 (the recgnised feeder series to Formula One and formerly called Formula 3000), replacing the previous champion Nico Rosberg (who was awarded a drive in Formula One for Williams in 2006). Hamilton’s year in GP2 was nothing short of impressive, and the young British driver won many races. He became only the second driver to ever win both races at one event (previously done by Rosberg) at the European race, and he repeated this feat at Silverstone later in the year. Lewis also won in Monaco from pole position, and claimed the series title in the penultimate race, beating his rival Nelson Piquet Jr. This performance along with his training with McLaren allowed Lewis to partner Fernando Alonso as McLaren changed both their drivers. His preparation for the 2007 season went well, with the McLaren car raising Hamilton to the top of the timing sheets on a consistent basis.
Hamilton’s debut year was one of incredible pace, incredible driving and unfortunately, incredible controversy. Lewis immediately stamped his authority on double world champion team mate Fernando Alonso, and the pair duked it out pretty much all year. It became clear that the two drivers didn’t get along, but this didn’t hinder the initial results. Hamilton came close to winning the Monaco Grand Prix, but team orders required both drivers to back off in fear of damage being caused to the cars. But Hamilton’s first win came in Montreal at the Canadian Grand Prix. The success was duplicated the following weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway at the American Grand Prix.
The 2007 campaign went down to the wire in Brazil, but unfortunately for Lewis, inexperience got the better of him and Kimi Raikkonen was able to sneak though and claim the championship. With th McLaren team disqualified for infringing the rules, the team didn’t even get the constructors trophy. However, the young Briton will be fired up for 2008, and with the prospect of a new team mate, Hamilton should hit the ground running.