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10 Big Moments From Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes Career, Ahead of Ferrari Move

F1 – Before #LewisHamilton dons red of #Ferrari, we take a look at the 10 biggest moments from his #Mercedes career.

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The aspirations of seeing Cristiano Ronaldo in a Barcelona kit, or Lionel Messi donning the Real Madrid white, never came to fruition for football aficionados. Cricket enthusiasts, similarly, entertained the rumour of Rohit Sharma batting alongside Virat Kohli for Royal Challengers Bangalore, but missed the memo which highlighted the word ‘rumour’.

Amid promises unkept and fantasies unfulfilled, the world of Formula 1 has delivered, as from the 2025 season, Lewis Hamilton will be seen driving for Ferrari. A Mercedes icon, six of whose seven drivers’ championship titles came with the Silver Arrows, has opted to fancy red at the dusk of his career.

With fans getting their heads turned – with incredible G-forces, too – let us have a look at the ten moments which shaped Hamilton’s Mercedes career:

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1. Historical Hungary Honour for Hungry Hamilton (2013)

Whether there is any scientific explanation behind claims that ‘firsts are always special’ remains to be explored, but there is a universal acceptance of commemorating first achievements. One such significant moment worth including in Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes highlight reel is his inaugural victory with the team – in Hungary, circa 2013.

The sceptics questioning Hamilton's decision to join Mercedes found some vindication after the first nine races of the season, as he was yet to claim a victory, while his teammate, Nico Rosberg, had already secured wins in Monaco and Silverstone.

Hungary, though, marked a turning point. For the first time whilst driving a Mercedes, Hamilton took his car to pole. But with Sebastian Vettel starting from second place and Red Bull consistently outperforming the Silver Arrows, expectations were that Hamilton might eventually concede to the ‘Weltmeister.’ Hamilton not only held his ground but went on to dominate the race, securing a win with a commanding margin of nearly 11 seconds.

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2. The First Title With Mercedes (2014)

Hamilton’s maiden title with Mercedes – the first of six – came in the 2014 season, at the season finale in Abu Dhabi. Beyond the immediate result, this race was significant as it marked the first occasion where the double-points rule was implemented. The winner, hence, got 50 points instead of the usual 25 – a rule now not in practice.

Arriving in the United Arab Emirates with a 17-point lead over his teammate Nico Rosberg, Hamilton qualified as the second-fastest. Albeit, the importance of starting positions dwindled quickly, as Hamilton flew past Rosberg in the first corner. Since then, it was all about the Brit.

Rosberg’s car did run into an Engine Recovery System (ERS) failure, leading to the challenger finishing 14th, although Hamilton did not put a foot wrong in that race.

This is the greatest day of my life. 2008 (first title) was special, but the feeling I have now is way past that. It's the greatest feeling I have ever had.
Lewis Hamilton, after winning his maiden championship with Mercedes.
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3. Que Senna Senna (2015)

The drivers’ championship battle in 2015 did not linger on till the last race, but when the Hamilton-Rosberg entourage arrived in the United States of America in October, scores were meant to be settled. For Hamilton, a triumph would elevate him to the esteemed company of Ayrton Senna, boasting three championships. Any other result, and Rosberg would continue smelling blood.

What transpired could be called the replay of Abu Dhabi 2014, except that unlike the parched desert, it rained heavily in Texas. When it did not rain, Hamilton was seen starting P2, and yet again, passing the pole-sitter – of course, Rosberg – in just the first corner.

The tempo was dictated by Hamilton throughout the next couple of hours, and albeit Rosberg was breathing down his neck in every turn, a mistake out of the defending champion could not be exacted.

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4. Spain, Except the ‘S’ Was Silent (2016)

The strife between Hamilton and Rosberg had been staring at the possibility of a culmination point, which did arrive in 2016, in sunny Spain. For Rosberg, the season could not have started any better, as he had won the first four races. Hamilton, at his desperate best, managed to take the car to pole in the fifth race.

Tables, however, turned on him on this occasion, as Rosberg passed him in turn one. Hamilton kept fighting till turn four, when he spun the car and crashed into Rosberg, ending Mercedes’ affairs in Catalunya.

Postscript: With the Silver Arrows taking each other out, the aftermath saw Max Verstappen becoming the youngest race winner in F1. The Dutch will reappear in this article at a later stage.
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5. A 'Pole'-Ished Performance (2017)

By 2017, Nico Rosberg had retired, and the mantle of being Lewis Hamilton's primary challenger fell once again on Sebastian Vettel, who was now driving for Ferrari. With eight races remaining, Vettel had an eight-point lead in the championship standings.

Hamilton needed to be at his best in Monza, and by doing so, he surpassed another best – Michael Schumacher. At the temple of speed, Hamilton recorded a lap time of 1:35.554 in qualifying, which subsequently made two records – it was then the fastest qualifying time in Monza, and it was Hamilton’s 69th pole, surpassing Schumacher’s figure of 68.

He eventually won the race too, reclaiming the pole position in the standings from Vettel in the process.

Sixty-nine poles – I just can’t believe it. To do this here (Italy) at such a historic circuit – I am going to have some pasta tonight to celebrate
Lewis Hamilton, after his 69th pole
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6. The First Known Iteration of ‘Ab Ki Baar 400 Paar' (2018)

The next few years, for Hamilton, were a smooth sailing, with the competitors dropping off. As the racing narrative shifted, focus shifted to what the millennials call 'side quests.' One such auxillary mission was the first apolitical iteration of 'Ab ki baar 400 paar' (this time, we'll cross 400).

Sebastian Vettel had had etched his name in the annals of history by accumulating 397 points in 2013 season, but the elusive 400-mark was yet to be breached. Until, of course, Hamilton did so, in 2018.

The feat was achieved in the last race, wherein Hamilton started from pole and never seemed to be in any risk of conceding his place. It was also his 11th win of the season.

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7. Why Use Four Wheels When Three Win You a Race?  (2020)

The 2020 season marked the final chapter of Mercedes' unrivalled supremacy, albeit challenges found a way to face Hamilton. At his home race in Silverstone, Hamilton found himself cruising towards a hat-trick of race wins, with nothing seeming likely to go wrong.

But, it did – at the last lap, the front-left tyre threw the towel in and deserted the battlefield. The driver, a six-time world champion at that stage, still somehow managed to trundle a three-and-a-quarter-wheeled car to the chequered flag, securing an anxious victory.

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8. The Maiden 'Century' in F1 (2021)

In his late thirties, Hamilton met perhaps his sternest challenge in the 2021 edition. A certain Max Verstappen pushed his Red Bull machinery to its limits, presenting a credible threat to the seven-time champion.

In hindsight, Hamilton might not have a holistically positive outlook towards the season, but there were standalone incidents worth cherishing – like when he became the first driver to win 100 F1 races.

At Sochi – this was prior to the conflict with Ukraine, and accordingly, Russia was not living in isolation from sporting events – Hamilton used his experience to trump fellow Englishman Lando Norris in a race that threw every condition possible, from the sun to the rain.sh

It hass taken a long time to get to 100 and I wasn't sure it would come. What a race the weather (in Sochi) provided.
Lewis Hamilton, after 100th race win
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9. Not Every Fairytale Gets a Happy Ending (2021)

Perhaps Mercedes fans can rue sports’ inexplicable affection towards legends who have faltered, for the manner in which Hamilton’s dominance ended. Seven years after he had won his maiden title with the Silver Arrows with Mercedes, Hamilton had returned to Abu Dhabi to become the first driver with eight world championships.

Tied on points with Verstappen, Hamilton found himself leading the race till the penultimate lap, before being passed by the Red Bull driver. There has been a cascade of controversies regarding one particular decision – that of allowing five lapped cars to unlap themselves, thereby reducing the gap between Hamilton and Verstappen. The result, however, is never to be changed.

This has been manipulated, man.
Lewis Hamilton to his race engineer, Peter Bonnington, after the race
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10. Back To Hungary, After 10 Years (2023)

Mercedes, the undisputed champions of the turbo-hybrid era, lost their plot when the latest regulations were implemented in 2022. Hamilton has not won any race over the last couple of years, although he did start a race on pole.

It seems poetic that Hungary – where he won his maiden race for Mercedes – is where he managed to get his first pole in two years. Extracting everything he could from his car, Hamilton beat Verstappen’s time by only 0.003s. At the race, however, he could only finish fourth.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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Topics:  FORMULA 1   lewis hamilton   Mercedes 

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