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Go-Karts to G.O.A.T.

Lewis Hamilton’s victory in Sunday's wet and disorderly Turkish Grand Prix has made him the most successful racing driver in F1 history. Hamilton's seventh title matches the achievement of Michael Schumacher, whose record for career victories was broken by Hamilton last month. Upon winning the race, as he received the congratulations of his team, Hamilton was overcome with emotion, saying: "To all the kids out there, dream the impossible."

Hamilton's rise through motorsport is an incredible story, he is F1's first and only Black world champion in its 70-year history and comes from a very humble background. When Hamilton was eight years old, his father took him to a go-kart track at Rye House in a second-hand kart, and it was here that he took his first step on to the motorsport ladder and fell in love with the sport. Then, in September 2006, the 21-year-old was given an evaluation test by McLaren as the team considered promoting him to F1 the following year. After a couple of familiarisation runs, Hamilton was immediately matching De la Rosa’s times and that was all he had to do to earn his place in the 2007 team, racing alongside Alonso. It was clear to everyone that he was a special talent and the greatest F1 debut season swiftly followed, and as they say, the rest is history!

Year after year, Hamilton has gone on producing jaw-dropping moments, unforgettable race drives and victories that will live on for a long time in F1 history. Starting out as the best rookie there has ever been with McLaren and later moving onto Mercedes, where he has not only dominated on track for the past seven years, but has become a global icon with a reach far beyond his sport. Hamilton, who has been very active in the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement, as well as campaigning for change when it comes to human rights, diversity and environmentalism, said he hoped his achievement "sends a message to kids that it doesn't matter where you come from, whatever your background, it is so important to dream big". He hopes that when he finally calls it a day on his F1 career, that he leaves behind a more diverse and inclusive sport than the one he entered all those years ago.

The Englishman won his first world title with McLaren in 2008 with further successes in 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2019 and there is a huge possibility of adding an eighth title to his collection next year. His contract with Mercedes expires this year, but he has said he wants to stay with the team and there are already talks taking place in this regard. His father says he still can’t quite believe what the boy from the council house in Stevenage has become, and it is clear that there is still plenty left in the tank. Hamilton has clinched this year’s title with three races still to go, two in Bahrain starting in two weeks' time and then a finale in Abu Dhabi in mid-December.

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