Lewis Carl Davidson Hamilton, MBE (born 7 January 1985) is a British Formula One racing driver from England, currently racing for the Mercedes AMG team. He is the 2008 and 2014 Formula One World Champion.
Hamilton was born in Stevenage, Hertfordshire. In December 1995, at the age of ten, he approached McLaren team principal Ron Dennis at the Autosport Awards ceremony and told him, "I want to race for you one day ... I want to race for McLaren."
Less than three years later McLaren and Mercedes-Benz signed him to their Young Driver Support Programme. After winning the British Formula Renault, Formula Three Euroseries, and GP2 championships on his way up the racing career ladder, he drove for McLaren in 2007, making his Formula One debut 12 years after his initial encounter with Dennis. Hamilton's contract for the McLaren driver development program made him the youngest ever driver to secure a contract which later resulted in a Formula One drive.
Coming from a mixed background, with a black father and white mother, Hamilton is often labelled "the first black driver in Formula One", although Willy T. Ribbs tested a Formula One car in 1986.[ He is also the first driver of black African heritage to win a major race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in any discipline. In his first season in Formula One, Hamilton set numerous records, while finishing second in the 2007 Formula One Championship, just one point behind Kimi Räikkönen.
He won the World Championship the following season. Following his second world title in 2014 he was named the BBC Sports Personality of the Year. He is the only driver on the current grid to have won at least one race in each season he has competed in to date, with McLaren from 2007 until 2012, and with Mercedes since 2013. He has more race victories than any other British driver in the history of Formula One.
In November 2007, Hamilton started dating Nicole Scherzinger, the lead singer of the American girl band Pussycat Dolls; it was announced in January 2010 that they split up to focus on their respective careers. However, they were seen together at the 2010 Turkish Grand Prix and at the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal, on 13 June 2010.
The couple split up and reunited numerous times between 2011 and 2013, but appear to have got back together in November 2013 and are still a couple as of November 2014.
At the start of 2012, he moved his personal residence from Switzerland to Monaco.
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