A look at Lewis' stellar rise as he becomes world's youngest F1 champion

It was such a close-run victory even he couldn't believe it. Lewis Hamilton became the youngest ever F1 world champion on Sunday after a nail-biting finish in Brazil. "My heart is still thumping. It was amazing – so close. I just need to get my breath back," gasped the jubilant ace.

For 'Team Hamilton', led by his mother Carmen and stepmum Linda, the suspense had been almost too much to bear.

With just two corners to go, their son overtook another driver to zoom into fifth place – giving him the one crucial point he needed to finish top of the championship.

As he pulled off the daredevil finish, they erupted into emotional cheers along with his father Anthony and 15-year-old brother Nicholas.

Completing the ecstatic Lewis line-up was the British hero's Pussycat Doll singer girlfriend Nichole Scherzinger, who'd been a bundle of nerves in the closing seconds.

The 23-year-old racing prodigy is now on track to become the highest paid sportsman in the world, with earnings of £100 million a year. That will eclipse the £31 million David Beckham earned last year and Tiger Woods' pay packet of £72 million.

Photo: © Alphapress.com
The sports ace kept British fans - and his family - waiting until the final seconds of the Brazilian Grand Prix to clinch the world championship in audacious style Photo: © Getty ImagesClick on photos for gallery
Photo: © Alphapress.com
Lewis, the youngest champion in the history of Formula One, steps into the arms of his girlfriend Pussycat Doll singer Nicole Photo: © Getty Images