Even if you are not Lewis Hamilton’s biggest fan, you can’t deny that this weekend he did something special in becoming a Formula One four time world champion. To put that into perspective for you, only two men hold more titles than him: Juan Fangio and, of course, Michael Schumacher.
Hamilton – the boy from Stevenage – has graced the circus of F1 and has proved critics wrong. He is, undoubtedly, a phenomenal driver.
In 2008 he won his first world title with McLaren in just his second year of the sport and became the youngest man to do so in the process. He’d also come close in 2007, his debut year, but narrowly missed out to another great Kimi Raikkonen.
In the years that followed he came close again but it wasn’t until 2014 with the introduction of the hybrid era that Hamilton was able to claim his second title.
The third came in 2015 and he so very nearly secured his forth in 2016 but it was team-mate Nico Rosberg who stole the accolade of best man last year.
This year has not been easy for Hamilton; his title hasn’t been handed to him. In the early half of the season, Ferrari looked to be true contenders and, they have been. But Hamilton has out-driven the likes of Sebastian Vettel and Raikkonen. Granted, he doesn’t have a flawless record this year, but he has pushed his skill to another level.
I feel those who simply say Hamilton has had a superior car are looking for a feeble excuse. We all know the Mercedes is fantastic, but it takes a skilled driver to pilot it. It takes a great driver to take it to pole position and victory time and time again.
It must be stressed that he isn’t just a driver, he is a true ambassador for the sport. Hamilton and F1 go perfectly together. He’s been fantastic for it in a world that is becoming more and more tech savvy and social media dependent.
Yet, the media hasn’t always endorsed the 32-year-old, but you can’t accuse the Briton of being fake. He has been called controversial int he past, questioned for his lifestyle, but he has always come out on top.
Today, the media were on Hamilton’s side and rightly so.
“Given this country’s record in the sport – 10 champions, more than any other nation – that is no empty accolade. And there was something fitting about having to fight his way through the field to claim his prize. There has always been something of the streetfighter in Hamilton,” wrote Martin Samuel for The Daily Mail.
He’s inspired me and millions of other fans, people young and old, to show that no matter your background, you can achieve your dreams if you work hard enough.
In the hours since grasping his forth title, he’s been labelled as ‘a raw homegrown talent’ and ‘extraordinary’ and I can’t help but feel that those words are true, for he is both of those things.
Not every day does someone, through multiple technical and complex rule changes, manage to maintain their domination. Four titles over a ten year period is remarkable, and only Schumacher has done the same thing.
So, hats off to you, Hamilton. You are a worthy quadruple champion indeed.