Lewis Hamilton: 100 and counting
Lewis Hamilton is one of the new guys, right? It’s easy to think so, because he looks young, fresh-faced and eager to prove himself. He is young, at just 27 years old, but Hamilton is no longer the new kid on the block. With 100 Grands Prix under his belt, Hamilton is well-established in the top tier of motorsport.
His stats make interesting reading. In 100 races, he has achieved 46 podiums including 18 victories, 21 pole positions, 10 fastest laps, 2 hat-tricks (pole, win and fastest lap) and the 2008 World Championship. When Hamilton won the 2008 title, he was the youngest ever Formula One World Champion, a record that he held until Sebastian Vettel took the title in 2010. Hamilton has never finished lower than fifth in the Drivers’ Championship, and has won at least 2 races in each completed season of his Formula One career.
Lewis Hamilton is arguably the most talented driver on the current grid. He is formidable in qualifying, relishing the challenge of extracting every last little bit of performance from his car. He has an aggressive and entertaining driving style, and is fearless when overtaking.
Since becoming World Champion in 2008, Hamilton has been attempting to repeat the achievement, but with no success. The lack of further championships is the result of a very competitive field and a slight slump in the form of his McLaren team. 2009 was a poor year for the team from Woking, as the car ran in the midfield for the first half of the season before McLaren’s relentless development programme delivered some pace late in the year. 2010 was the beginning of Red Bull’s rise to power, as Sebastian Vettel took the title, and 2011 saw Red Bull dominate the season, as Hamilton could only manage fifth in the final standings.
2012 looked more promising when the McLaren MP4-27 proved quick in testing and Hamilton and Button locked out the front row for the season-opener in Australia. However, the team has not been able to maintain that performance, and Hamilton has now fallen 62 points behind championship leader Fernando Alonso. It is possible that he could recover that deficit, but it would take a superb second half of the season from the Englishman.
Although more titles have seemed elusive for the past three seasons, Hamilton is still young, full of energy, and blindingly quick. In 100 Grands Prix, he has proven that he has what it takes to beat some of the greatest drivers in history. There is plenty of time for more championships, and when the right car comes along, there will be no stopping him.