Lewis Hamilton’s genes: How Formula One icon inherited success

Written by By Chris Lord, CNN London Most people would list ‘prominent name’ as the obvious benefit of having an older brother — because he provides endless anecdotes, great stories and outsized male bonding…

Lewis Hamilton's genes: How Formula One icon inherited success

Written by By Chris Lord, CNN London

Most people would list ‘prominent name’ as the obvious benefit of having an older brother — because he provides endless anecdotes, great stories and outsized male bonding skills.

I got lucky. The first two times I saw my brother standing alongside a podium with his well-earned trophy, it caused mild panic. I always wanted to see him win.

Driving for Mercedes-AMG Petronas, the most celebrated racing team in the world, is fortunate because his input is arguably as big as his name. Lewis Hamilton and Lewis Hamilton Junior are the most powerful, well-known and respected motorsport celebrities in the world today. There is no Alexander Rossi in Formula One, who was also raised by a famous father, Mario.

In racing terms, I guess his influence helps ameliorate the plight of my motor racing fanatical, black-clad yet remarkably cute twin sister, Claudia, who is really only a fan of Noddy and Doris, and my mother, who can only read about and watch his great achievements in the newspapers.

In the motor sport industry, there has always been competition for attention, cash and glory. However, the one competition that Lewis is known for winning is the one outside of the grand prix track: the naming of cars.

Ferrari has yet to name its car for Lewis’ uncle, the legendary Alain Prost.

Nicolas Hamilton is the global chairman of Alain Prost Formula One Team, an announcement that predictably set off a fanboy frenzy. He has also made use of his older brother’s winning formula by proposing the name of his car as being ‘The Williams of the 2014 FIA World Championship.’

When Lewis won his first title, in 2008, the driver to have won more with a single team was Sebastian Vettel.

Having added Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix to his already burgeoning history of victories, Lewis is fast shaping up to be the most important motorsport figure of the 21st century. And as befits an international star of his stature, he is raking in the cash, too.

Thanks to a record-breaking book deal, he is one of the best-paid Formula One athletes of all time.

Lewis is also known to provide inspiration to his team, on a different level to their much less charismatic teammate Nico Rosberg. Lewis has always been forthright in declaring that his team are the best out there, and the talent of one team member can be measured just as much as the talent of another.

The real world will never forget the four championships he has won, and his legacy to the sport, after all, will be that of a world champion and future sports celebrity.

No other driver in the history of the sport has won the world championship four times. Lewis will continue to be the star of his team and the most prominent member of the Formula One family.

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