Lewis Hamilton’s journey to the top has been nothing short of astronomical.
Born in Stevenage in 1985, he was bought a go-kart at the age of six by his dad.
They say the rest is history and, in Hamilton’s case, that couldn’t be truer.
The F1 racer received a knighthood as part of the New Year Honours for 2021.
He was recognised for his contribution to motorsports in a year where he equalled Michael Schumacher’s record by winning his seventh World Drivers’ Championship.
And he targets his eighth title today as he goes neck-and-neck with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in this afternoon’s hotly-anticipated finale in Abu Dhabi.
Hamilton studied at The Saint John Henry Newman Catholic School in Stevenage, and was even in the same year as footballer Ashley Young, before going on to study at a private sixth-form college in Cambridge.
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He went on to become one of the most clinical and accomplished sportsmen in the world – and one of the richest, too, with his fortune estimated at £224m.
In 2020, Hamilton was named as the wealthiest British sports star in history in the Sunday Times Rich List
It wasn’t only Stevenage that played a part in his Formula One success though as he spent a lot of his time in Hoddesdon at the Rye House Speedway.
It was at this track where Lewis learned to drive and first got behind the wheel seriously.
Hamilton started racing at the circuit in 1993, aged eight, and soon established himself as someone to keep an eye on.
He’s been one of the leading figures in F1, particularly so after his first Grand Prix win in 2007 to his switch from McClaren to Mercedes in 2013.
He’s also renowned for continuing to make charitable and philanthropic contributions in the UK and overseas by supporting a wide range of causes from improving equality within motorsport, to supporting disadvantaged young people, children’s charities and conservation causes.
He has his own charity too, Mission 44, and has launched a partnership to increase the number of Black science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) teachers in England.
Today’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix starts at 1pm this afternoon and can be viewed on Sky F1 and Channel 4.
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