Thursday, December 13, 2007
Today the Sports Journalists' Association honored Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton with their prestigious 59th Sportsman of the Year and Best International Newcomer awards.
The awards, sponsored by BT Vision and UK Sport, are the result of a poll of the members of the Sports Journalists’ Association (writers, photographers, broadcasters). The presentation was held at a gala lunch in the City of London with nearly 400 from the worlds of sport, celebrity, politics and the media in attendance.
Hamilton had an amazing year with numerous impressive performances that erased all doubt from skeptics. Twenty-two year-old Hamilton from Hertfordshire,UK led the world drivers’ championship going into the final race of the season but finished a point behind the eventual champion, Kimi Raikkonen. Hamilton won four Grands Prix during the season and became the first driver to finish on the podium in his first nine races. Hamilton is a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver.
By the age of 13, he was talent spotted and subsequently signed to the McLaren and Mercedes-Benz Young Driver Support Programme by McLaren Group Chairman and CEO Ron Dennis. The program provided Lewis with a long-term contract guaranteeing financial and technical support to help with his future motorsport career and included a future option for the entry into Formula 1.
Lewis remains the only teenager ever to be signed by a Formula 1 team at such an early age.