By Gary Norris Gray, Staff Reporter
OAKLAND — It only took a fourth-place finish for Mr. Lewis Carl Davidson Hamilton to capture his fifth Formula One World Championship in Mexico the last week of October. Hamilton is so far ahead on points, at 358 with two races left in the season, he does not need to gain another point the rest of the year.
He is now considered the best driver on the Formula One Circuit. This year he won nine races and stood on the podium for all of this year’s races except two, the Austrian Grand Prix when he did not finish and the Canadian Grand Prix when he finished 5th.
Lewis can now rest and set his sights on World Championship number six in 2019. Race car historians are now asking, is Lewis Carl Davidson Hamilton the best Formula One driver ever? The answer will be forth coming in the next three years.
Hamilton won his first World Championship in 2008 and has won back to back titles in 2017-18. This year he tied Juan Manuel Fangio of Argentina from the Alfa Romeo Racing team and is chasing the great Michael Schumacher of Germany with seven world titles.
He currently has 70 victories, 20 behind Schumacher and is two years younger than Michael. Hamilton also holds the record for qualifying at 81. Look out Mr. Schumacher, Hamilton is in hot pursuit of your record.
Hamilton is often labeled “the first black driver in Formula One”, although Willy T. Ribbs (pictured above) tested a Formula One car in 1986. He is also the first driver of Black-African heritage to win a major race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Lewis Hamilton still cannot get the credit maybe because of his heritage. He can claim to be the most naturally gifted sportsperson that Great Britain has ever produced but most Brits still love Formula One driver Jenson Alexander Lyons Button who has one Formula One World Championship.
Most Americans do not know Hamilton because they do not follow Formula One racing. Most of the starting times are early Sunday morning when Americans are still in bed. Americans understand The Indy Car Series because they race in the United States in the afternoons with the most famous Indianapolis 500 on Memorial Day
However, Formula One races are all over the world from April to November with only one race in the United States in the state of Texas. In 2018, Hamilton was pressed by his new teammate Valtteri Bottas from Nastola, Finland with ten podium finishes.
Former teammate Nico Rosberg from Germany retired last year and gave Hamilton stiff competition all year long in 2017, this prepared him for Bottas in 2018.
The 2018 Mercedes Benz Racing Team has to hold off the Italian Ferrari Racing Team in November to win the team championship with drivers Sabastian Vettel and Kimi Kaikkonen who started this season strong with two first place finishes.
The last question will be if Hamilton will finish the season?
Lewis Hamilton’s parents separated when he was two, as a result of this he lived with his mother and half-sisters Nicola and Samantha until he was 12 when he started living with his father, stepmother Linda and half-brother Nicolas, who has CP Cerebral Palsy. The Hamilton’s were immigrants from Grenada who moved to the UK in the 1950′s.
His father Anthony Hamilton gave Lewis a remote control car to race. He entered races all over the country and won. Then he wanted the real thing, so his father bought him a go cart to race at the age of six and he exceeded all expectations winning again.
Hamilton was born in Stevenage, Hertfordshire.
In December 1995, at the age of ten, he approached McLaren team principal Ron Dennis at the Autosport Awards ceremony and told him, “I want to race for you one day … I want to race for McLaren.” Less than three years later, McLaren and Mercedes- Benz signed him to their Young Driver Support Programme.
Hamilton knew he wanted to race for The McLaren Motor Sports Team. It took only three years before the team signed the eager youngster to the Young Drivers Support Program. Lewis stayed with the McLaren Team until 2013 where he gathered many records.
He had the most podium finishes (9) from the Australian Grand Prix to the British Grand Prix. Lewis is the youngest driver to lead the World Championship at 22 years old. In 2007 Hamilton was the Rookie of The Year. In 2008 he won his first World Championship, in 2018 only one man has more Form 1 titles.
He was the Formula One Champion ten years ago and received cheers and jeers from the Spanish racing crowd. The 2007-2008 racial episodes made Hamilton a better driver and garnered him his second World Championship in 2014.
After winning the British Formula Renault, Formula Three Euro-series, and GP2, championships on his way up the racing career ladder, he drove for McLaren in 2007, making his Formula One debut 12 years after his initial encounter with Dennis.
Hamilton’s contract for the McLaren driver development program made him the youngest ever driver to secure a contract which later resulted in a Formula One drive.
On February 2008, Spanish spectators wore black face paint and black wigs, as well as shirts bearing the words “Hamilton’s family”. That does not happen now. Winning can stop any criticism.
The Monkey chants, banana throwing, and disrespect for his great driving abilities are not as prominent on the European tracks when he won his third championship in 2015 they all but disappeared in his fourth championship with the Mercedes Benz Racing team.
Winning has that effect of shutting people down.
Hamilton was widely unpopular in Spain because of the rivalry with his former Spanish team-mate Fernando Alonso. The Federation Internationale De L’Automobile (FIA) warned Spanish authorities about the repetition of such behavior.
In reaction to this behavior, the F.I.A. announced in February 2008 the creation of a “Race Against Racism” campaign. The campaign has done well the past twelve years attracting more potential Black drivers to the sport.
Winning his 5th World Championship has opened the eyes of young Black men all over the world that might want to try driving a two-ton car 40 laps to win a race.
This year at the Japanese Grand Prix thousands of Japanese fans waved British flags with Lewis Hamilton’s face on them. He won that race. Winning overcomes race in sports.
Lewis Carl Davidson Hamilton is a BAD MAN!!!
Gary Norris Gray – Writer, Author, Historian. Gibbs Magazine-Oakland, California and New England Informer- Boston Mass. THE GRAYLINE:- The Analects of A Black Disabled Man, The Gray Leopard Cove, Soul Tree Radio In The Raw, and The Batchelor Pad Network on Blogtalkradio.com Disabled Community Activist. Email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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