A life at ten-tenths: Hamilton at 100
It’s hard to believe, but Lewis racks up his 100th grand prix appearance at Hockenheim next weekend. You don’t need a long memory to recall that sensational debut in Melbourne at the start of 2007, or that odds-defying victory at Monaco the following year, two KERS-boosted victories in 2009 or a string of never-say-die, gung-ho drives that have characterised Lewis as the most exciting, unpredictable and gutsy driver of his generation.
Lewis isn’t one to look back – the next race is always far more appealing than the last one – but here he takes the time to reflect, breaking his century-long career down into 10-race chunks and picking a personal highlight from each, reflecting candidly on memories that live on in the hearts and minds of millions of grand prix fans.
Here, then, is Lewis’s life lived at ten-tenths – could it happen any other way?
1-10: Australia 2007-Europe 2007
Wins 2 (Canada, USA)
Poles 3 (Canada, USA, Britain)
Fastest laps 1 (Malaysia)
Laps led 171
Canadian Grand Prix (70 laps), Circuit Gilles Villeneuve – June 10 2007
After finishing second in four of the opening five races and stunning the entire Formula 1 community with his unfettered, rookie pace, Lewis finally breaks his duck with a dominant victory from pole position. Four Safety Car periods test his endurance, but he copes like a master, never losing his composure to nail each of the re-starts to perfection. He leads all but three laps to come home four seconds ahead of BMW-Sauber’s Nick Heidfeld.
Lewis looks back
“This is a race I remember as if it were yesterday. I remember the emotion and the satisfaction of winning; celebrating with my family and the team; simply feeling overjoyed, elated and relieved to have won my first race. It was something I’d dreamt of since I was little, so to have finally achieved it – and at one of my favourite circuits on the calendar – was incredibly sweet. This is still one of my all-time favourite memories in my Formula 1 career.”
Career so far: wins 2; poles 3; fastest laps 1; laps led 171; points 70