CAROL’S CORNER: Happy birthday Sir Lewis Hamilton!

© LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd

By Carol M. Creasey

On 7th January 1985 Lewis Carl Davidson Hamilton was born to Carmen and Anthony. They divorced when he was 2, and both went on to marry again.

From a very young age, Lewis took a strong interest in cars, even to the point of operating a radio controlled one as a young boy. Anthony recognised a talent in his son, and worked several jobs in order to support him in go-karting. By his own admission, Lewis said he had the shabbiest go-kart, but loved the challenge coming from the back of the grid, against all the odds, and winning.

At ten years old, he plucked up the courage to speak to then McLaren team principal Ron Dennis, and explain that one day he would be in his Formula One team. He realised that dream in 2007, at the age of 22. As a rookie he teamed with Fernando Alonso, a double world champion. He acquitted himself very well, beating Alonso on occasions, much to the Spanish driver’s disgust, and missed winning the championship that year by one point. He remedied that in 2008, winning his first championship by one point.

Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel dominated between 2010 and 2013, and by then Lewis had switched to the works Mercedes F1 team. He took his next two championships in 2014 and 2015. After a season of unreliability with his car, he lost the championship by 5 points to team-mate Nico Rosberg in 2016, even though he had won 10 races and Rosberg had won 9.

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However, losing by such a small margin only fired Lewis up even more. He battled against Vettel in a Ferrari from 2017 until 2019, and cliched all three championships. During that time the Ferrari had an advantage of going well on every track, whereas the Mercedes, often referred to by Lewis and the team as “a handful“ or “a diva”, was very track specific.

In 2020 Lewis achieved his seventh world championship, now level with Michael Schumacher, but he has eclipsed him with pole positions and race wins. In response to this, he was awarded a knighthood, although the ceremony had to be delayed because of COVID restrictions.

There is no doubt that he is the best driver in the world right now, and many believe the greatest of all time, but he doesn’t just shine on the track, he is a man of his word. He promised to set up the Hamilton Commission to encourage people from ethnic minorities to have an equal chance in motorsport, and he delivered. He also has the backing of Mercedes who are his partners in several similar ventures.

He has also been very instrumental in supporting Black Lives Matter since the death of George Floyd at the hands of a policeman, choosing to use the platform that his status gives him to battle racism in all its forms. Having been on the receiving end of racism and unfair treatment during his life, he is trying to prevent it from happening to others.

On 12th December 2021 he lost his eighth world championship in controversial circumstances, which shows even more why he wants to help people who are unfairly discriminated against in life. He is brave, kind courteous, and a true gentleman. A few days after his unjust loss, he was knighted at Windsor Castle by Prince Charles. He was accompanied by his very proud mother, and his legions of fans expressed their pride online.

Sir Lewis Hamilton turns 37 today, but age means nothing to him, as he has proved he can match and beat drivers some 13 years younger than him. And he does it fairly, being the cleanest driver on the grid.

Happy birthday Sir Lewis, I am so proud to be your fan, have a wonderful day!

Be sure to follow Carol on Twitter @eagertogo and visit her website!

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