Young Lewis Hamilton started his journey to Formula One (F1) stardom with his karting debut in 1993. By age ten, he had already claimed the title of the youngest winner of the British cadet karting championship.
A memorable encounter at the Autosport Awards had 10-year-old Hamilton telling McLaren F1 team boss Ron Dennis, “One day I want to be racing your cars.” To which Dennis responded, hinting at a future partnership, “Phone me in nine years.”
Young Lewis Hamilton – Karting
In 1998, after further karting triumphs, Dennis offered Hamilton a spot in McLaren’s driver development program, making him the youngest driver to secure a future F1 seat. As Hamilton progressed through the ranks, he teamed up with future F1 driver Nico Rosberg in the karting circuits. By 2000, the British Racing Drivers’ Club had labeled him a “Rising Star.”
In 2001, a karting race saw Hamilton competing against the legendary Michael Schumacher. Though Hamilton finished behind the F1 great, Schumacher praised the young talent, indicating his bright future.
Single Seater Racing
Hamilton transitioned to car racing in the 2001 British Formula Renault Winter Series and quickly ascended the ranks. By 2004, he made his debut in the Formula 3 Euro Series. While he had potential offers from Williams, Hamilton’s path was solidified with McLaren.
Despite some tensions and contract disputes, he consistently demonstrated his prowess on the track.
2004 marked Hamilton’s first test for McLaren, and by 2005 he dominated the Euro Series. His performance caught the attention of the racing world, with Autosport ranking him 24th in their “Top 50 Drivers of 2005.”
Lewis Hamilton – GP2
Hamilton’s trajectory continued upward with his move to the GP2 series in 2006, where he clinched the championship in his debut season. Following vacancies at McLaren, the rising star was finally confirmed as their second driver for the 2007 season.
Hamilton’s ascent from a confident ten-year-old karting champ to an F1 driver is a testament to his skill, dedication, and unyielding passion for racing.
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