Belfast Telegraph

Lewis Hamilton has the chance to make history

By Kevin Garside

In quantifiable terms, Lewis Hamilton is already in exalted company. Only four men in the history of Formula One have won more races.

His 32nd victory in the United States earlier this month eclipsed Nigel Mansell as the most prolific Briton, a significant achievement given this nation’s deep racing tradition, one that has shaped the modern sport.

 An 11th win of the season tomorrow would move him alongside Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel in chequered flags taken in one campaign, and this with an uber-competitive team-mate, Nico Rosberg, who has pipped him for poles and might yet wear the crown himself, a feature that neither of the mighty Teutons had to negotiate in any of their respective romps to the title.

 Most important of all, Hamilton can afford to finish second and still bring home the bacon.

On the evidence of Mercedes’ crushing dominance on the opening day of practice in Abu Dhabi — Hamilton led both sessions — only the parting of the seas or the return of the gremlins from hell can deny Hamilton a second World Championship and a place beside the great Jim Clark and Graham Hill. Oh, and one other thing.

He is not yet 30, plenty of time to reel in Sir Jackie Stewart, the pre-eminent Brit with three world titles.

Hamilton is arguably the most misunderstood figure not only on the grid but in British sport.

It is hard to imagine a more genuine, down-to-earth high net worth individual than Lewis Hamilton — which makes the lack of appreciation for him outside the racing milieu all the more baffling.

Belfast Telegraph

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