Lewis Hamilton delivered high drama and high emotion for the spectacle of a coronation worthy of one of the greatest champions Formula One has ever produced. His victory at the Turkish Grand Prix sealed the championship and his seventh title. With it Hamilton has achieved what was once thought impossible, matching Michael Schumacher’s record tally and in doing so becoming the most successful F1 driver of all time.
He could not have achieved it in greater style than with the panache and mastery he produced at Istanbul Park in what can rightly be described as a champion’s drive.
Head in his hands and in tears as he sat in his car after the race, even the world champion for whom winning has become commonplace seemed to struggle to take in this moment.
Hamilton admitted he found it hard to comprehend just how far the boy who had grown up on a council estate in Stevenage had come. “I am almost lost for words,” he said. “We dreamed of this when I was young. It is so important for kids to see this, and don’t listen to anyone who says you can’t achieve something. Dream the impossible. You have got to chase it and never give up.” Now 35, Hamilton has been chasing his dreams in F1 for 14 seasons. His father Anthony, worked three jobs to fund the 6 year-old’s karting dreams.
Schumacher’s records were thought to be untouchable but Hamilton has not only matched one and beaten others, he is also in a great position to set new benchmarks way beyond the German’s tallies. He has already surpassed the German’s records of race wins and pole positions with 94 and 97 respectively.
The racer, worth an estimated £250million, will be knighted in the New Year’s Honours List and is, by all experts standards, the finest racing driver the world has ever produced.