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Hamilton worthy of crown

Lewis Hamilton in celebration mode. IN DECEMBER 1995, a 10-year-old Lewis Hamilton approached McLaren formula one boss Ron Dennis at an Autosport awards presentation, introduced himself and asked for an autograph.

He then told Dennis: “One day, I want to race for you in one of your cars.” To which Dennis replied: “Come and see me in nine years’ time.”

At this point, Hamilton had been racing karts very successfully in the junior categories for two years and over the next three years he achieved extensive success to the point where Dennis arranged for him to be part of the McLaren and Mercedes Benz young driver support program.

This paved the way financially for Hamilton’s career and after winning the prestigious European karting title in 2000, he made the transition to circuit racing in 2001 competing in the British formula Renault winter series.

He quickly adapted to circuit racing, scoring numerous wins across different categories before winning the 2005 formula 3 Euro series with 15 wins from 20 starts and the following year claiming the GP2 championship with five wins from 21 starts and a total of 14 podiums.

In 2007, Hamilton made his debut in formula one driving for McLaren Mercedes, finishing third in his first race in Australia and going on to win four races from 17 starts and finishing second in the world title.

The following year the championship went down to the wire in Brazil, and after one of the most dramatic finishes in F1 history, Hamilton scrambled home in fifth place to deny race winner Filipe Massa the championship by one point.

In 2009, Hamilton only scored two wins and five podiums to finish a disappointing fifth in the championship, and the next four years were no better as Sebastian Vettel dominated.

Ten wins from 58 starts between 2010 and 2012 was not good enough by Hamilton’s very high standards and he made the move from McLaren to the Mercedes Benz team for 2013 to replace the retiring Michael Schumacher.

The season only yielded one win and five podiums for fourth place in the championship but with new engine regulations due to be introduced for 2014, Hamilton was confident he could join the late Jim Clark ,the late Graham Hill and Sir Jackie Stewart as the only British drivers to have won two world titles.

It turned out to be a two-driver battle for the championship with Mercedes teammates Hamilton and Nico Rosberg winning 16 of the 19 races and Australia’s Daniel Ricciardo the other three.

Going into the final race last weekend in Abu Dhabi, Hamilton had won 10 races to Rosberg’s five but there was only 17 points ahead of him.

With the much-maligned double points in play for the final round, there were plenty of computations but in the final analysis Hamilton won the race and the title, and Rosberg had to settle for a struggling 14th in a troubled car and second in the championship.

In the eight years that Hamilton has been competing in F1, he has contested 145 GP races for 33 wins and 70 podium positions but clearly 2014 was the best season by far, featuring one third of his wins.

Small wonder that he regarded this championship as more special than his first in 2008.

Congratulations must go to Ricciardo on his brilliant drive from pit lane to an outstanding fourth in the race and also his third overall in the championship.

There is no question he is also world championship material.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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