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Page last updated at 10:48 GMT, Monday, 18 June 2007 11:48 UK

Hamilton's rise to the top

Lewis Hamilton in 1992 on Blue Peter

Lewis Hamilton first graces UK television screens in 1992, racing remote controlled cars on BBC children's show Blue Peter

Lewis Hamilton receives his prize after winning a race in 1997

A year later he begins karting, aged eight, and quickly begins winning races and championships

Lewis Hamilton in 1997

Aged 10, Hamilton tells McLaren boss Ron Dennis: "I'm going to race for you one day... I'm going to race for McLaren"

Lewis Hamilton in his kart

And in 1998, he is the youngest ever driver to secure an F1 deal when he is signed to McLaren's development programme

Lewis Hamilton with kart

He continues to progress through the karting ranks to Formula Super A and he becomes European Champion in 2000

Lewis Hamilton demonstrates the art of getting into a moving kart

Hamilton leaves karting behind in 2001 to begin his car racing in the British Formula Renault Winter Series

Lewis Hamilton with the 2006 GP2 trophy

He again climbs through the rankings quickly and wins the GP2 championship at the first attempt in 2006

Lewis Hamilton (left) and McLaren chief Ron Dennis

In November 2006, Hamilton is unveiled by McLaren team owner Ron Dennis as a driver for the 2007 Formula One season, becoming the sport's first Afro-Caribbean driver

Lewis Hamilton on the podium after the Australian Grand Prix

And McLaren's protege does not disappoint in his debut race, finishing third in the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne

Lewis Hamilton takes the chequered flag in Canada

In only his sixth race, the 22-year-old wins his first Grand Prix in Canada in the midst of a record run of nine straight podium finishes

Lewis Hamilton and former McLaren team-mate Fernando Alonso celebrate half-heartedly at Monza

Hamilton falls out with team-mate Fernando Alonso as both drivers and the McLaren team become embroiled in the high-profile "spy row" which costs McLaren 50m and all their constructors' points

Lewis Hamilton is runner-up in the 2007 Sports Personality of the Year

Late-season errors see Hamilton miss out on the 2007 world title by a single point but he impresses the British public and is named runner-up in the Sports Personality of the Year Award

Lewis Hamilton wins at Silverstone

A new season sees Hamilton use his wet weather skills to pull off a brilliant win at Silverstone, becoming the first British driver to win his home Grand Prix since David Coulthard in 2000

Lewis Hamilton and girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger

Hamilton puts his personal life in the fast lane when he starts dating American pop singer Nicole Scherzinger of the Pussycat Dolls

Lewis Hamilton (left) and his father Anthony

Hamilton's father Anthony, a former British Rail engineer who held down three jobs to help his son's career, is a constant presence

Lewis Hamilton gets off to a slow start in Japan

A series of errors harm Hamilton's title chances and after further rash driving in Japan his rivals' dislike for his approach becomes clear

Lewis Hamilton celebrates with his brother Nicholas

Hamilton is close to his brother Nicholas, who has cerebral palsy, and the pair celebrate together after Hamilton's dream comes true and he wins the 2008 world title in Brazil

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