After Hamilton clinched his third Formula One title this year, it could arguably be seen as the enigmatic Brit’s finest hour.
At one time, after winning four back-to-back World Championship titles, Sebastian Vettel was long thought of as the best driver in the world. But, after Hamilton’s switch from McLaren to Mercedes, he now feels he has the right car to consistently compete at the summit of motor racing week-in, week-out.
Before the last race of the season in Abu Dhabi on November 29, Hamilton leads his German rival by 97 points, and is 66 points ahead of second-placed teammate Nico Rosberg. It’s been a strong finish to the season by Hamilton, winning three of the last five races (Japan, Russia, USA) and then finishing second in the two he failed to win. The consistency the Mercedes driver has shown has been incredible, hence why he’s had such a healthy lead in the Championship for the most part of the season.
If Hamilton can triumph in Abu Dhabi, it would take his tally to 11 race wins in 2015, which would be his best season tally in his career to-date. He’s also secured 11 out of 18 pole positions this season. It’s this dominant year, which has finally seen him become the most successful British driver of all-time.
In October an infographic was released that showed how Hamilton had surpassed the iconic Jackie Stewart as Britain’s most successful driver. Although the infographic shows 37 race wins, he has now won a total of 43 wins with 86 podium finishes to his name. He is now 16 race wins ahead of second place Stewart and has equaled his record of three Championship wins.
The Stevenage-born racer leads an illustrious list of British drivers. Nigel Mansell is still held in high regard among Formula One luminaries for his tussles with the late Ayrton Senna during the 90s. Playboy James Hunt, who had many run-ins with rival Niki Lauda, will always remain close to the hearts of the British motor racing fanatics, and then there’s Jenson Button who managed to clinch a title alongside Hamilton during their days as teammates for McLaren under the guidance of Ron Dennis. Although, Hamilton may not have the heart-warming charisma of the aforementioned other British drivers, his skill set is undeniably on another level.
With many years of racing ahead for Hamilton, the way he is performing at the moment the potential is there for him to rival some of the greats. His immediate goals will no doubt centre around dominating the dangerous Vettel on a consistent basis. But, in the long-term Hamilton will want to be seen as one of the best drivers ever to grace the sport.
Image via Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team
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