Lewis Hamilton secured his seventh title in Turkey last year
Lewis Hamilton is bidding to win a record-breaking eighth Formula 1 world title, after cutting Max Verstappen’s championship lead to just eight points with two races remaining. Telegraph Sport looks back at Hamilton’s seven previous title wins – and ranks which was the best of the bunch.
7. Easily beating Rosberg (2015)
A championship more memorable for the growing squabbles between Hamilton and Nico Rosberg ahead of their vicious, no-holds-barred title fight the following year. On track it was pretty one-sided, certainly compared with the seasons before and after it. Hamilton clinched the championship with three races to spare, having claimed 10 wins and 11 pole positions en route. Dominant.
6. Overcomes Covid, and Bottas (2020)
Covid was arguably the biggest threat to Hamilton in 2020, with the season in the balance at various moments. None of the other teams could match Mercedes for pace, while Valtteri Bottas was also unequal to the task, although the Finn did suffer his share of bad luck.
Hamilton was able to seal the deal with a brilliant win in Turkey, where he started sixth on the grid and ended up lapping his team-mate. He still had time to catch Covid and recover and drive at the season finale in Abu Dhabi.
5. Finds way past powerful Ferrari (2019)
Ferrari still had serious qualifying pace in 2019 – they were later forced to reduce the power of their engines in a hugely controversial private deal with the FIA – and Hamilton only took five poles all season.
But the Briton reigned supreme in the races, winning six of the first eight to set up the championship. He closed it out with two races to spare.
Lewis Hamilton won six of the first eight races in 2019
Credit: GETTY IMAGES
4. Bounces back to beat Rosberg (2017)
This was the ‘bounce-back’ championship after Hamilton was beaten to the title the previous season by Rosberg. So intense was that season the German retired from the sport at the end of it. But Hamilton seemed to grow in maturity and professionalism.
Now paired with Bottas, Hamilton easily subdued the Finn and also asserted himself over the Ferraris, who had the pace to threaten him. A midseason run of six wins in seven races saw them off.
3. First title with Mercedes (2014)
The first with Mercedes and it was a good one as Hamilton was pushed hard by Rosberg, their rivalry threatening to boil over on occasion. Hamilton just about asserted himself in the end, his race craft proving the difference.
Although Rosberg took 11 pole positions to Hamilton’s seven over the course of the season, the Briton won 11 races to Rosberg’s five.
The 2014 triumph was Lewis Hamilton's first with Mercedes
2. Peak driving performance (2018)
Probably the best in terms of Hamilton’s all-round performance. Up against a Ferrari which was at least the equal of the Mercedes, Hamilton’s driving was magisterial.
He won in Sochi after a blunder by his team cost him track position, won from 14th on the grid in Germany, and won at Monza, when both Ferrari drivers started ahead of him – and secured his fifth drivers’ title with three races to spare in the end.
1. Young, flawed but brilliant (2008)
The original. Hamilton was nowhere near the driver he would be 10 years later. In fact, his mistakes that season, such as crashing into Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari at the pit exit thanks to missing the red light in Canada and causing first-corner chaos in Japan, stand out.
But that rawness, that speed, that wet weather win at Silverstone, that dramatic finish in Brazil to seal it. Sensational. And all at 23.
Do you agree with this order and if Hamilton wins the world title this year, where will it rank? Let us know in the comments section below