GUEST COLUMN: Lewis Hamilton is indeed Formula 1’s GOAT

© LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd

By Bonnie Cehovet

When I first came across the acronym “GOAT” I had to look it up. I had no clue what it meant, other than it is the symbol for my birth sign (Capricorn). Now those of us who follow the F1 world are seeing it consistently in connection with Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton.

“GOAT” is defined as meaning “Greatest Of All Time”, and is generally used in reference to exceptional athletes.

The origins of this term are quite interesting and go back to boxer Muhammad Ali. He was nicknamed “The Greatest”, which was turned into G.O.A.T. by his wife in the 1990s for publicity purposes.

Lewis Hamilton has been at the head of the pack since his carting days and continues to remain there. Many people feel that his success is due to his driving for Mercedes, and the fact that Mercedes for the past several years has had the top car out there. Because of this, they do not feel that he deserves the recognition of GOAT.

Others feel that recognition for the greatest driver should be given by era, and not by the status of “all time”.

Then there is Ayrton Senna, an idol of Lewis Hamilton’s – a driver that had a great impact in F1. Had he not died so young, would he have held the title of GOAT?

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Lewis Hamilton is known as a clean racer (not prone to cause accidents or bully other drivers) and adapts to track conditions easily (he is known as the Rain Master for driving so well in wet conditions). His current on-track statistics include: 100 wins, 176 podiums, 101 pole positions, 7 championships, 281 starts, 57 fastest laps, 242 points finishes, 168 front-row starts, 5615 laps led, and 25 retirements.

Off the racetrack, Lewis Hamilton is credited with helping F1 appeal to a broader audience, due to his high-profile lifestyle, significant social media presence (we love you, Roscoe!), environmental and social activism, and his push for increased diversity in motorsport. In 2020 Time magazine listed Hamilton as one of the top 100 influential people globally, and he was knighted in the 2021 New Year Honours.

As a background to all of this, Lewis Hamilton is the only black driver in F1. He is a supporter of Black Lives Matter and has encouraged other drivers to take a stand. His philanthropy includes establishing The Hamilton Commission (in partnership with the Royal Academy of Engineering), Mission 44, a charitable foundation created to help young people from under-represented backgrounds achieve their ambitions, and Ignite, a joint charitable foundation that he formed with the Mercedes Formula One Team, focusing on increasing diversity in motorsport, by improving educational opportunities and offering financial support.

Lewis Hamilton, viewed through the eye of his statistics and his actions, is indeed the GOAT – an honor that will no doubt hold for at least the next decade.

Be sure to visit Member Bonnie Cehovet’s website!

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of SilverArrows.Net.

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