F1 Gold | Revisiting the scene of Lewis Hamilton's first victory in F1


It's 2007, and McLaren-Mercedes has two new drivers in its line-up: two-time world champion, Fernando Alonso, and rookie, Lewis Hamilton.

Now, Hamilton has been groomed by McLaren since his teenage years. The story goes that he and his father met Ron Dennis, then team boss of the McLaren team, at an event, and Hamilton told Dennis, in no uncertain terms, that he'll one day race for his team.

Dennis was so impressed by the young man's confidence that he signed him shortly after that meeting. Fast forward a few years to 2007, and Lewis Hamilton lines up for the McLaren team alongside a very highly-rated driver in Alonso.

While everyone expected Alonso to wipe the floor with the new kid on the block, especially after winning back-to-back championships in 2005 and 2006. Everyone did, except for Lewis.

What transpired from the very first race in Australia that year is something that laid the foundation for Hamilton's future in the sport. He finished his first F1 race in third place, one position behind Alonso. In Malaysia, the second race, he finished second behind Alonso. Hamilton appeared on the podium for every race until the Canadian Grand Prix when it all came together for him.

Lewis Hamilton,f1,formula 1,mclaren,mercedes

Lewis Hamilton and his father, Anthony. Image: Getty Images

First F1 victory

It's no secret that the Canadian GP ranks up there as one of Hamilton's favourite tracks. It is, after all, the scene of his first victory. That year, in his debut season, he took first pole position in qualifying ahead of Alonso. If the signs weren't evident by then, it certainly was that Hamilton is heading for greater things in F1.

As the lights went out, it seemed as though Alonso had the jump on Hamilton, but the British driver quickly recuperated to maintain his position. Alonso ran too deep into the first corner and had to take evasive action across the grass. He rejoined the track, but almost collided with his team mate.

READ: Toto Wollf and Lewis Hamilton jumping ship to Aston Martin in 2021 not an impossibility

Over the first phase of the race, Hamilton eked out a gap of almost 20 seconds over second-placed Nick Heidfeld, but a safety car saw it cut to nearly nothing.

The race had its fair share of incidents, including Robert Kubica's massive shunt, but Hamilton remained cool-headed en route to his first F1 victory. Alonso registered his first poor result of the season after coming home in seventh place.

A rich career

Now in his fourteenth year in F1, Hamilton has established himself as one of the legends of the sport. In 2007, he and Alonso tied on 109 points at the end of the season, just losing out on the championship to Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen (110 points). The following year, Hamilton won his first championship.

It would be a six-year wait, but in 2014 Hamilton finally wins his second championship. He repeated the feat in 2015 and again from 2017 to 2019.

If all goes to plan, Hamilton will tie with Michael Schumacher on seven F1 championships in 2020, and perhaps also surpass the great German's 91 victories in the sport.

Hamilton is out of contract at the end of 2020 but will be looking to resign with his Mercedes team.

Lewis Hamilton,f1,formula 1,mclaren,mercedes

Lewis Hamilton at the 2007 Canadian GP. Image: Getty Images

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