Lewis Hamilton is arguably one of the most recognisable names in motorsport, having carved out a place in history as one of F1’s most prolific drivers – and as a national hero in the process. His longstanding relationship with F1 team Mercedes-AMG Petronas has borne fruit in the form of seven World Driver’s Championship titles and eight Constructors’ Championship titles; according to recent reports, Hamilton is keen to extend that working relationship.
It has been reported that Hamilton is signing on for another two years of driving for the team, indicating that he is going nowhere soon. But what fuelled this decision, and how did he get to his prominent position in global motorsport?
Hamilton – Success and Lull
Hamilton’s F1 success is no secret; his household name status is thanks to an extensive driving career that has won him seven Championship trophies – putting him level with F1 legend Michael Schumacher for most Driver’s Championship titles ever won. Many of these F1 victories were near-consecutive, with championship years 2014-20 yielding six titles.
Hamilton’s success began to wane in successive tournaments, though. A new challenger, in the form of Red Bull driver Max Verstappen, provided Hamilton with a powerful rival that narrowly deprived him of his eighth championship title. The Mercedes team’s experiments with vehicle design created issues which plagued Hamilton’s 2022 season, culminating in his first ever winless F1 season. Still, despite the teething problems presented by Mercedes’ engineering, Hamilton is happy enough to sign a contract for another two years with the F1 team.
The Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team
The Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 team has been participating in Formula 1 since 2010 – but its history stretches back far beyond its relatively recent resurgence. Mercedes’ first presence in Formula 1 as we know it today was in 1954. Then, the Daimler-Benz AG team competed for two years, before the Le Mans tragedy of 1955.
2010 saw Mercedes return via investment in – and rebranding of – the existing Brawn GP team. What would follow would be one of the most successful team careers of any participating F1 team in the sport’s history. With Hamilton in tow, Mercedes would win eight consecutive Constructors’ Championship titles and the record for most wins in a given season.
Hamilton and Motorsport
Hamilton’s involvement with the Mercedes-AMG Petronas team has inspired many a driver to invest in Mercedes’ trademark European engineering, and in Mercedes gap insurance to protect that investment to boot. But far greater is Hamiliton’s contributions to British sport itself. His success on the track has become an inspiration for many, particularly young children from similar backgrounds to him. He is proof positive that race and societal class need not be impediments to greatness, whether with regard to personal ambition or professional success – in this way, he is a role model for the present day.