Hailed by many as one of the greatest Formula 1 drivers in history, Lewis Hamilton has enough accomplishments under his belt to prove those who may think otherwise wrong. Last season, the British racing driver was newly crowned World Champion and finished the year with back-to-back wins from pole in Brazil and Abu Dhabi. He has now five World Championship titles and is expected to defend his reign this year.
While fans around the world eagerly anticipate his next race, here are ten surprising facts about the legend himself, Lewis Hamilton.
1. Hamilton set firsts and broke records last season
Last season ended on a high for Hamilton as he set not just one, but two new standards in the world of Formula 1. With a total of 408, he officially scored the most points in a season by any driver, just beating Sebastian Vettel who scored 387 in 2013. Hamilton also became the first driver ever to have his total number of career points go past 3000.
2. In every season he has joined so far, he has won at least one race
The only driver in the world to have a streak of this kind, one can argue that Hamilton found this success due to starting his career with a top-level team and car. It’s quite awe-inspiring to imagine that this racing driver has come out with a win every season he’s participated in since 2001.
3. He started racing at age 8
For plenty of racing drivers, the love for the sport starts with karting — and Hamilton was no different. He started driving at age 8 and by age 10, he had already won the British Karting Championship, the STP Karting Championship, and the Mercedes Champions of the Future Series where his future sponsor, McLaren Mercedes, would then notice him.
4. He was the youngest driver that was reached out to by a Formula 1 team
After catching the attention of McLaren Mercedes at the Mercedes Champions of the Future Series, Hamilton would then be signed on for the ‘Mercedes Drivers Development Support Programme’ in 1998 at the age of 13 — the youngest to have ever been contacted by a professional driving team.
5. He is the highest paid British sportsman
As of 2018, Hamilton signed a £120 million three-year contract with Mercedes, just beating Conor McGregor for the highest paid British sportsman today. Hamilton’s deal rounds out to £40 million a year, or £770,000-a-week.
6. He wears a cross to all his races
Raised in a devout Roman Catholic family, Hamilton has always been open about his devotion and Christian faith. He has stated in several interviews that he believes that his faith is an important part in his racing and career. Especially with the high-risk factor of the sport, Hamilton finds comfort in his beliefs. “Anything can happen any day, but I feel God has his hand over me,” Hamilton states in an interview with The Guardian.
7. His other athletic talents include football, basketball, and cricket
As a child, Hamilton also dabbled in other Sports. They always appealed to Hamilton’s competitive nature, which in turn, would bring out his natural athleticism. In school, he was in the same football team as Ashley Young, the striker for Aston Villa. He was also on the school team for cricket, basketball, and even javelin and discus.
8. His greatest fear is sharks
It seems that every man, no matter how accomplished, has his limits. While known for loving sports and other extreme activities, Hamilton revealed to the Mirror UK in a press conference that sharks is where he draws the line. The driver then recounted his 2018 winter break in Melbourne, where he couldn’t go surfing in an area that wasn’t netted off to sharks.
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