The everlasting career of Lewis Hamilton who turns 39 today

Columns: From Kart to F1
Today, the seven-time World Champion celebrates his 39th birthday, a protagonist of a sports career both dazzling and enduring...(fm)

His contract with Mercedes is dated 2025, so, worst-case scenario, we'll see him behind the wheel of an F1 car well beyond his 40th birthday.
Lewis is a driver with a rather unique trajectory, though he effectively serves as a 'bridge' between the old and the new generation: the era of Senna-Mansell and that of Verstappen-Leclerc. His journey naturally begins with karting, but it's a vastly different kart from what we have today.
At the same time, however, in those years, Lewis - along with other british drivers of his generation - enjoys media exposure through a television show (ironically named "Champions of the Future" that narrated the exploits of young drivers, somewhat akin to today's social media coverage, in a time when social media weren't even a concept.
It was during those award ceremonies that the legendary encounter with Ron Dennis took place in 1995. A few years later, he became a "recruited" driver for a top F1 team (AMG) at a time when F1 academies themselves didn't even exist as a thought.
Therefore, Hamilton's career represents an almost unique case, along with Fernando Alonso, whose early years were decidedly more subdued. For those who misuse the term 'predestined' today, in Hamilton's case, it wouldn't have been entirely inappropriate: he won everywhere he raced, from karting to F1, and when he stepped into F1 in 2007, he narrowly missed the debut title. The first title came the following year and took just a year, much less than Max Verstappen, who, however, entered Formula 1 practically as a child. Then, the common challenges of a long career, the crises, conflicts, and, at a certain point, the unbeatable machine to aim for GOAT records. Today, Lewis is a man with the charisma, image, and substance of an adult, whom we have seen grow in the highest expression of four-wheeled sports and whom we have seen change many times over these years. An opportunity that not all those who reach the F1 milestone have the privilege of being granted...

Created by: fmarangon2 - 07/01/24

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