Racer of the Decade Nominee #3 – Lewis Hamilton

Of our four nominees, Lewis Hamilton is the only man who went into the decade as a fully established name, having already won the Formula 1 World Championship in 2008.

However, he has still been on quite a big journey this decade, going from one of the best drivers on the grid to one of the best in history.

His decade started with three up and down seasons at McLaren, where he picked up several race wins but couldn’t put together a whole season.

After finishing fourth in 2010, but still battling for the title until the last race, 2011 was a low point in Hamilton’s career. A plethora of on-track incidents led him to a distant fifth position in the final standings and put a question mark on the talent he showed when he first entered the sport.

He performed much better in 2012, but suffered a series of unfortunate retirements, including mechanical failures whilst comfortably leading in both Singapore and Abu Dhabi.

At the end of the season he made the bold choice to move to Mercedes. Many thought it was a bad call at the time, but it would prove to be the best move in the history of F1.

After spending a year of settling into the team, Mercedes suddenly become the sport’s dominant force at the start of the turbo-hybrid era in 2014. Hamilton faced stiff competition from teammate Nico Rosberg throughout the season, but eventually sealed his second world title at the season finale in Abu Dhabi.

Hamilton lifts the British flag in celebration after winning the 2014 World Championship

He would go onto take his third title in 2015 after a somewhat easier battle against Rosberg which he won with three rounds to spare.

Though Mercedes’ dominance was as strong as ever in 2016, a mixture of reliability issues and mistakes at the start of races cost Hamilton valuable points. Rosberg was able to take the championship by just five points and duly retired, ending the pair’s fierce rivalry.

Hamilton’s performances since this defeat have no doubt been his strongest. Whilst Mercedes have remained the strongest team, they have faced much stiffer competition and he has helped give them the edge.

Over the last three seasons he has made very minimal mistakes whilst going quicker than ever and remaining clinical in wheel-to-wheel battle. In short, he has become the complete package. This is something that cannot be said about his rival and four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel during the same period.

Hamilton celebrating victory at this year’s Mexican Grand Prix

The 34-year-old is now the second most successful driver in F1 history, with six world titles and 84 race wins in total. His motivation remains high and over the next few years he could enter uncharted territory if he maintains his current level.

The 2010s may have started as being all about the incredible young talent of Vettel, but Hamilton has risen to the top and made this decade his. It has been a true testament to his character.

If Lewis Hamilton is your Racer of the Decade then make sure to vote for him on our Twitter page.

Voting opens at 8pm (GMT) tomorrow (Dec 21st) and will close at 10pm on Monday (Dec 23rd).

Published by James Casey

Absolute Motorsport Ltd Managing Director

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