Lewis Hamilton is a truly great champion

If you’re a fan of motorsport, this is a tremendous time to be following the achievements of Lewis Hamilton in Formula 1. The 33 year old driver is on the precipice of achieving a truly amazing feat. Though he didn’t capture his 5th F1 World Championship this past weekend in Austin, there’s little doubt he won’t snag that title by season’s end. Once he does, Hamilton sits with only Juan Manual Fangio in second place for most driver’s championships. Only Michael Schumacher sits ahead with an insane seven world championships to his name.
When Hamilton first started winning, I was excited to see the young man take the sport by storm. His story is a remarkable one. With a dedicated father working upwards of four jobs to keep Lewis in his go-kart, Hamilton won races right from the outset. Often at circuits where other (more well off) families were shocked to see a young black kid battling for victory. His story is one of focus, dedication, and ridiculous support from an equally dedicated father.
So why have folks (at least those outside of his native UK) soured on Hamilton in recent years? I have some theories.

His ascension to F1 glory was quick. Hamilton jumped into the F1 fray for the 2007 racing season. In his very first race, Lewis managed a podium spot with a third place finish. He very nearly won the whole seasons, but wound up second overall. His first world championship title didn’t prove terribly elusive though, as Hamilton managed to win it all in 2008.
As Hamilton began to stack up the wins, he also began to stack up a social media following. This is where you could see Lewis enjoying time on his private jet. He was canoodling with pop stars and super models. Lewis’ love of fashion began to shine through as well, with some admittedly questionable clothing choices on occasion. His shining success on the track began to get a bit muddled with his off-track lifestyle.
And that’s a damn shame.
Imagine that you’re the son of a hard-working man who gave it his all so you and your family could have a better life. You then take that torch and run with it to unimaginable heights. Soon-to-be 5 time F1 world champion. Multi-millionaire living in Monaco. A jet-set lifestyle that includes the creation of your own fashion line collaboration with Tommy Hilfiger. You yourself have a tremendous work ethic and you’re enjoying the fruits of your labor in the way that others can only dream.
For some, I think a bit of jealousy comes into play. Hamilton has a high-flying lifestyle but he’s earned it. At the same time, we don’t have stories of him out too late partying or doing drugs. He’s not constantly ripping on other drivers. He’s working hard and winning at levels that almost no other driver has achieved. He still cites his idol Ayrton Senna at every chance he gets, and he comes off as downright humble in most interviews.

Lewis Hamilton … is a dickhead

I’ve seen the social media photos. There was a time when I considered Hamilton a massive douche. But maybe I’m the douche here. If I grew up in the same manner as Lewis and achieved my dreams, you’d be damn sure I’d be enjoying my private jets. Hell, there’s a strong chance I’d be a lot worse.

Lewis Hamilton is dominating a very difficult sport. He’s doing it with a smile on his face and a serious level of respect for both the past and his current fellow drivers. He’s a true champion. When he wins that fifth title, I’ll stand and cheer for him and you should do the same. And we can only hope he has a desire to stick around and go after Schumacher’s top spot.

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13 responses to “Lewis Hamilton is a truly great champion”

  1. Fred Avatar

    Maybe, ok, I am old, but all those Instagram fashion posts just alienate me. On the other hand the truly great in my mind are those who can win in different forms of racing. Dan Gurney, AJ Foyt, Mario, Alonso, and many others.

    1. Ol' Shel' Avatar
      Ol’ Shel’

      It’s in fashion to DISLIKE everyone who doesn’t look exactly like us, do everything we do, and think just like we think. There’s no logical reason for it, unless you believe that Lewis Hamilton has taken all the money that was supposed to be yours.
      On this and other car sites, people express their disdain for Dub wheels, stance, NASCAR, monster trucks, etc, etc. What they should be doing is putting that energy toward something positive, being cool with others’ choices and interests.

      1. Fred Avatar

        I’m not against high fashion, more the habit of posting yourself on line. Seems a bit narcissistic. Then again maybe Lewis gets paid to post those pics.

      2. Lokki Avatar


    2. Jeff Glucker Avatar
      Jeff Glucker

      I used to think the same way… but then step back and realize he’s a kid who came from nothing to achieve his greatest goals. He’s enjoying himself and that’s ok. In fact, it’s great when you truly stop to think about it.
      It’s not like he came from money, bought his way in, and competes mid pack. This dude worked his ass off and climbed to the top rung. And continues to win up there.
      I don’t need to see photos of fancy jets and ridiculous clothing choices… but I’m not going to let it diminish my view of Lewis Hamilton the champion either.

  2. outback_ute Avatar

    I can’t quite say “truly great” yet. Apart from whatever behaviour away from the track which can detract sometimes he is still a bit much of a prima donna racing driver.

      1. outback_ute Avatar

        Of course he is magnanimous when he wins, it is when things are not 100% that the sooking occurs

  3. crank_case Avatar

    He’s a damn great driver, which is all that matters. I kinda think our view of drivers from say the 70s, gets clouded by the fact that they weren’t under the same media scrutiny and F1 wasn’t the business it is now. Imagine if James Hunt had had an Instagram account? It’d be a train wreck.
    Can’t really bring myself to watch F1, or most race series these days to be honest, but I’ve always been more a rally/hillclimb fan anyway.

  4. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar

    The moment I decided I was a Hamilton fan…

  5. Manxman Avatar

    I’ve seen Hamilton in several videos with Sterling Moss and he came off as a respectful, humble guy and deferred to Moss on several topics. For the camera? Maybe, but Moss doesn’t suffer fools so he looked genuine to me. Maybe 10 years make a difference.

  6. alex Avatar

    I have seen every World Champion race live going back to 1993. And I saw Senna in 1993 in Montreal.
    IMHO, there have been a few WC during that time who had clearly superior cars and won championships as much due to their cars as their talent. Damon Hill, Jack Villeneuve, JB, Nico come to mind.
    However, each of the other champions during this period was richly deserving and won on talent as much as on their cars.
    Lewis is an outstanding and deserving champion. He is deeply respectful of the history of the sport. And, while he has a great car this year, I believe that absent Lewis as a driver, Vettel would be leading the WDC. He has been essentially flawless this year.
    Great job again, Lewis!

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