10 years ago… Hamilton had his first day at Mercedes

Does Lewis Hamilton remember his first day at Mercedes? And above all, could he have imagined where this adventure would take him? On 24 January 2012, the Briton assumed the role of star driver on the strength of his 2008 Formula 1 world championship title with McLaren. A look back at the 10-year saga leading up to the summit.

178 starts

The driver has entered the Formula 1 Grand Prix grid 310 times. 178 in the colors of the German team. But this is one of the statistics that Lewis is not the first, he is 46 lengths behind another veteran and world champion who intends to inflate this number… Fernando Alonso. Hamilton should move up to third in the standings at the end of the extended 2023 season, replacing Rubens Barrichello (323 starts). As for Raikkonen (2nd with 350 starts), the Mercedes driver has to wait a little longer.

133 podium

Or 75% of the time on the podium since his first Grand Prix start at Mercedes. And even in the most difficult seasons, the driver always managed to fight in the top 3. 2022 is his worst result in Formula 1, 6th in the Drivers’ Championship behind teammate and teenager George. Russell. It is rare that Lewis Hamilton has won only three times with 6 different teammates in his career: Button in 2011, Rosberg and Russell in 2016.

Despite this, even in a dark year, the Briton climbed the podium 9 times, especially on his soil in Silverstone (England). The result he owes to his ability to take advantage of opportunities, to maximize his car’s potential, but also to… the rainbow-colored helmet that represents the LGBT flag. The helmet that brought him luck until the Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium) Grand Prix, where the driver had his one and only retirement of the season.

Lewis Hamilton and his LGBT helmet. ©Florent Gooden / DPPI

82 wins

Lewis Hamilton made his debut in Formula 1 in 2007. And until last season, there had never been a British victory in the premier class. Throughout his career, he won 33% of the races he entered. The result: 103 wins, including 82 with Mercedes… since 2013, almost one in every two meetings has been dominated by Hamilton. This makes him the most successful driver in the history of the race. At the 2021 Russian Grand Prix, Hamilton will climb to the top step of the podium for the 100th time.

The Briton also holds the record for the most wins at various circuits, having won 31 races.

77 pole positions

With all the undersized Pirelli tires he’s acquired over ten years at Mercedes, Lewis can support the miniature Formula 1 championship with no problem. The king in the race, but also in the classification, the score is the same for the driver: 103.77 behind the wheel of the silver single-seater. Again, an absolute category record. He is on a dizzying streak of 100 pole positions signed at the 2021 Barcelona Grand Prix (Spain), but one of his best performances on a fast circuit comes in the form of the Singapore circuit. The 2018 world champion at Marina Bay is transparent in his final freestyle practice session…will shine even more in Q3. The distance of just over 5 kilometers is covered in 1 minute 36 or 3 and a half seconds less than the previous record. A trick he describes as “magical” when he gets up from his seat.

6 world titles

Add the premier class win in his second season at McLaren and you get 7. Along with Michael Schumacher. But above all, a depiction of Mercedes’ undisputed dominance from 2014 to 2021. The Brackley team was able to rely on Lewis and his various team-mates to bring him 8 consecutive constructors’ championship crowns.

advantage of King Lewis only recognized two troublemakers: 2016 world champion Nico Rosberg and Max Verstappen. But despite the dashed hopes of revenge in 2022, the king is not dead. W13 is confusing and the queue of new rules is poorly discussed. This is both a problem of pessimism and the concern of the whole team hanging on the back of Lewis Hamilton. But the Silver Arrows offer the constructors a promising third place, which makes one wonder about Britain’s 2023 campaign. Enough to write new chapters and break new records.

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