Lewis HamiltonBritish Motorsports Racing Driver
Lewis Hamilton is a British motorsports racing driver. He won his first Formula 1 championship in 2008 with McLaren/Mercedes.
• Date of birth: 7 January 1985
• Age: 37 years old
• Place of birth: Stevenage, England
• Residence: Monte Carlo, Monaco
• Nationality: English
• Height: 175cm / 5ft 9ins
• Weight: 66kg / 145lbs
• Net Worth: £300m / $365m (Sunday Times, 2022)
• Salary: £54m / $65m per year (Forbes, 2022)
The 37-year-old made his Formula 1 debut back in 2007, when he partnered defending double world champion Fernando Alonso, who had joined McLaren after leaving Renault.
He quickly settled in the sport and won his first F1 grand prix when he was 22 years old back in June 2007 when he won the Canadian Grand Prix in only the sixth race of his career.
Hamilton continued to make impressive strides in the sport and became the youngest F1 world champion in history in 2008, when he triumphed by a single point.
Further victories followed in 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 as Hamilton continued to make impressive progress with Mercedes.
Hamilton is regarded as one of the world’s best ever racing drivers and is reported to have a net worth in the region of £300m / $365m (Sunday Times, 2022).
So, what do we know about Lewis Hamilton’s journey to becoming the talented racing driver he is known for? This is his story.
Early Life, Parents And Upbringing
Lewis Hamilton (full name: Sir Lewis Carl Davidson Hamilton) was born in Stevenage, Hertfordshire in England on 7 January 1985, to parents Anthony and Carmen. His father is of Grenadian, while his mother is English and from Birmingham.
Hamilton’s parents separated when he was two years old, after which he lived with his mother and older half-sisters, Samantha and Nicola, until he was 12. Hamilton then lived with his father and his stepmother Linda, and his half-brother Nicolas, who is also a professional racing driver.
Lewis was gifted a remote-control car to entertain him on visits to see his father when he was five years old. Later on, his father bought and renovated a go-kart for him. When he was 10 years old, Hamilton won the British Junior Cadet Kart Championship, becoming the youngest driver ever to do so.
Hamilton, who was the only black child racing at his club, revealed that he suffered racial abuse at that time. “The first time it happened I felt really upset, and I felt like I needed to get revenge on them,” Hamilton said when he was just 10 years old. “But lately, if anybody says anything to me, I just ignore them and get them back on the track.”
Hamilton went to the The John Henry Newman School, a voluntary aided Catholic secondary school in Stevenage. At school, he played football (soccer) and later said that he would have been open to pursuing a career in the sport.
Hamilton began his car racing career in the 2001 British Formula Renault Winter Series, finishing fifth in the standings that year.
He competed in the 2002 Formula Renault UK campaign with Manor Motorsport, finishing third overall, before winning the championship ahead of Alex Lloyd in 2003. Hamilton then made his Formula 3 debut that year after having clinched the championship title.
Hamilton made his Formula 1 debut back in 2007, after he was paired with defending champion Fernando Alonso for 2007 with McLaren. “He has earned his chance and he deserves this opportunity,” said McLaren boss Ron Dennis at the time.
Hamilton himself said at the time: “To be racing in Formula 1 with McLaren has been the ultimate goal for me since I was very young. This opportunity is a fantastic way to end what has been the best year for me.”
He made his Formula 1 debut at the 2007 Australian Grand Prix. He finished third and became the 13th driver to finish on the podium on his F1 debut.
“To lead in my first Grand Prix was a fantastic feeling,” Hamilton said afterwards. “It’s pretty tough when you have a two-times world champion behind you.”
Hamilton’s first F1 Grand Prix victory came in the sixth race of his career at the 2007 Canadian Grand Prix. Aged 22 at the time, he started from pole and led throughout at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
“I’ve been ready for this for quite some time, ready for the win – it was just a matter of where and when,” said Hamilton afterwards.
Hamilton finished his first season in Formula 1 with four Grand Prix wins to his name and in second place, behind world champion Kimi Raikkonen of Ferrari.
First Formula 1 World Title
Hamilton claimed his first Formula 1 World Championship the following season in 2008. He secured five race wins during the year to claim the title and become the first British driver to win the world championship since Damon Hill in 1996.
It was a dramatic end to the season, with Hamilton sealing the title by finishing fifth at the 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix, making him Formula 1’s youngest ever world champion.
“It’s pretty impossible to put into words,” said Hamilton, who was 23 years old at the time. “It’s been such a long journey and I’m so speechless. After all the sacrifices we’ve made I am so thrilled to be able to do this for everyone. It was one of the toughest races of my life – if not the toughest.”
Hamilton continued to enjoy plenty of success in Formula 1 following his triumph in 2008, but his next world championship title did not come until 2014.
In 2012, Hamilton opted to leave McLaren to join Mercedes, initially starting out with team-mate Nico Rosberg.
His first world title with Mercedes came in 2014, when Hamilton won 11 of the races to claim his second F1 world crown.
Speaking after having clinched the title at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Hamilton said: “This is the greatest day of my life. 2008 was a great year in my life. The feeling I have now is way, way past that. The greatest feeling ever.”
Net Worth, Salary And Earnings
As is the case with most celebrities and sports stars, there is no official figure for Lewis Hamilton’s net worth. That being said, there are plenty of estimates available online which claim to reveal roughly how much Hamilton is worth.
In May 2022, The Sunday Times estimated that Hamilton had a net worth of around £300m.
Meanwhile, Forbes estimated that Hamilton had earned a yearly salary of $65m (£54m) as of May 2022. According to the same publication, $57m of that figure came from salary/winnings, and the remaining $8m was from sponsorships and endorsements.
Another publication, Wealthy Gorilla, claimed that Hamilton’s net worth was in the region of $285m (£232m).
Although the official figure for Hamilton’s net worth is not known publicly, it’s probably fair to assume the the figures above are likely to be fairly close to the true number.
Life Away From The Track
Hamilton has followed a vegan, plant-based diet in recent years and credits making the switch as helping his career.
“I have more energy, I’m so much more productive,” said Hamilton in an interview with Men’s Health in July 2021. “I wake up feeling way better, clearer in thought and fresher in my body. I recover quicker, I sleep better. My skin cleared up. I have fewer allergies. There are just so many impacts. I’m physically in better shape than I’ve ever been, and I’m more successful than ever right now, and my plant-based programme has played such a big role in that.”
From November 2007 to February 2015, Hamilton was in an on-and-off relationship with Nicole Scherzinger, the lead singer of the Pussycat Dolls.
Hamilton is a Catholic and has spoken about faith and religion in an interview with Italian magazine GQ, as quoted by The Sun, in 2017.
“I’m Catholic, a man of faith and I pray when I wake up, go to bed and before every meal,” Hamilton said. I have a close relationship with God. I ask for help for my friends in need. I ask for support when I get too stressed out.
“Words from God give me direction. The compass tattooed on my chest symbolised that; the church is my north and my south, faith guides me.”
What Have Others Said?
Damon Hill, speaking after Hamilton won his first F1 title back in 2008: “I send my heartfelt congratulations to the Hamilton family – it will have to go down as one of the most exciting Formula 1 races ever. It’s a momentous day. We’re here celebrating another British world champion and I’m really pleased. He will go on and win more championships. He’s been through the biggest, toughest test you can possibly go through and he’s bringing the cup home here.”
Anthony Hamilton, Lewis’ father, speaking about his son in an interview in 2011: “I have always struggled to understand how he has become such a great driver when he’s in the car. I mean, most of his learning has come outside the car. Inside the car there is some sort of natural talent that he doesn’t have to learn much about, just control. From the first time he sat in a go-kart at eight years of age I didn’t have to tell him much. He kinda knew where the pedals were and what he had to do and off he went. He’s never had any driver training or driver coaching, which is quite interesting.”