McLaren-Mercedes kart driver featured in Time Magazine

Stevenage, UK -- 2nd March 2000 Top European kart driver Lewis Hamilton was featured in Time magazine (TIME EUROPE March 5, 2001 VOL. 157 NO. 9) this week in an article about the decreasing age of Formula One drivers. An obvious choice for this ...

Stevenage, UK -- 2nd March 2000 Top European kart driver Lewis Hamilton was featured in Time magazine (TIME EUROPE March 5, 2001 VOL. 157 NO. 9) this week in an article about the decreasing age of Formula One drivers. An obvious choice for this article, Hamilton was signed up by the McLaren Driver Support Program at the age of 13 and three years on is now the European Champion and World Cup winner, and is confidently expected to be the first black F1 driver.

The article explored the issues relating to the possibility of very young drivers reaching Formula One, perhaps straight from karting at the age of 16 or 17. These considerations arose following the rapid ascendancy of drivers such as Kimi Raikkonen and Jenson Button who completed only one and two seasons respectively in cars. Sauber driver Raikkonen is presently on probation for four races and could be at risk of having his Superlicense, which enables him to race in F1, revoked if he doesn't perform to the satisfaction of the Formula One safety chiefs.

Concurring with the general tone of the article, Hamilton is quoted as saying "I don't want to be the youngest ever F1 driver, I just want to get there". However, Hamilton could well reach F1 early while still having gained several years experience in single seater car racing. This is due to the fact that he has achieved many of his goals in karting several years younger than most of his peers.

The Lewis Hamilton achievement tally in 2000 included winning the European Formula A title after winning all five rounds and the Ayrton Senna Memorial World Cup race in Japan. Hamilton races a CRG kart, Iame Parilla engines and Bridgestone tyres.

- Mary-Ann Horley

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About this article
Series Formula 1 , Kart
Drivers Jenson Button , Kimi Raikkonen , Lewis Hamilton , Ayrton Senna
Teams Mercedes , Sauber , McLaren