The lowdown on Lewis Hamilton
2017: 1st place. Born: 7/1/1985.
A new outlook, a new team-mate, a new diet – that was Lewis Hamilton’s recipe for a fourth world drivers’ title in 2017.
The British racing star stormed back after the summer break with five victories in six races, regaining his crown with two to spare as Sebastian Vettel’s title challenge crumbled.
The mood at Mercedes was notably lighter as Hamilton revelled in his status as undoubted team No. 1 following the retirement of Nico Rosberg, after the German’s sole championship triumph in 2016.
Hamilton raised eyebrows when he announced he was going vegan, but there seemed no impact on his energy levels as he continued to jet-set around the globe in between racing duties, partying with fellow celebrities.
His response to Vettel’s scorching early-season form showed a maturity and calm that was sometimes missing when Rosberg was his main rival – will that be tested if current team-mate Valtteri Bottas progresses into a genuine contender?
It’s now over a decade since Hamilton burst onto the scene with McLaren in 2007, causing Fernando Alonso headaches and missing out on a famous world title in his rookie season by just one point.
He completed the job a year later to become the then-youngest F1 champion but, despite a stream of poles and wins, it would take six years and a move to Mercedes before he claimed his second title in 2014, beating team-mate Rosberg.
Ten victories in a dominant 2015 campaign won him a third crown, drawing him level with his idol Ayrton Senna, and ensuring his legacy.