Lewis Hamilton, 33, is one of the biggest names in racing, and is considered one of the most successful British drivers in history. Lewis races for both Formula One and Mercedes AMG Petronas and has been crowned Formula One World Champion four times. The star last hit the headlines last weekend following his wins at both the German and Hungarian Grand Prix. As a result of his success, he is one of the richest sportsmen in the world right now. The sporting hero dreamt of becoming a racing driver from the tender age of four, when his dad Anthony Hamilton bought him a remote-control car. Lewis would then compete in championships as a child, and finished second in the national BRCA championship the following year. He has previously said of that time: "I was racing these remote-controlled cars and winning club championships against adults". Lewis' dad then bought him his first go-kart for Christmas at the age of six, and his passion and talent for driving has been with him ever since.
Lewis Hamilton is one of the world's most famous racing drivers
What is Lewis Hamilton's net worth?
According to website Celebrity Net Worth, Lewis is estimated to be worth $285million, which is converted to £218million. His annual salary meanwhile, is currently thought to be around $50million - £38million a year. Lewis joined Mercedes’ racing team in 2012, where he was signed up with a $100million (£195.5million) deal. As well as racing for Mercedes and Formula One, Lewis has earnt money through advertising sponsorships with global brands such as L'Oreal, Puma and Tommy Hilfiger.
Racing gear sponsors
On Lewis' racing gear alone, he has a staggering £112million worth of sponsors. These include Monster Energy, Puma, Bose, Union Bank of Switzerland, Epson and Tommy Hilfiger, which all pay the sports star millions for their logo to be shown on his white polo top.
Lewis has often opened up about his father's influence on his career after he bought him his very first remote-controlled car. In a heartfelt Instagram post in May, Lewis shared a sweet throwback video of his journey into racing as a little boy. The video saw him compete in his first go-karting race at the age of eight, and praised the sport for being something that he could do with his dad. "To be honest, it started out as a hobby, something for my Dad and I to do together," he said. Lewis also spoke of his dad's commitment to his son's talents, revealing: "At one point, my dad had four jobs just to keep us karting." On top of this, his dad would work on the kart in the garage at night, something Lewis has been extremely grateful for. "He gave up everything for me. I wouldn’t be a four-time world champion if it wasn’t for my dad," he praised.
Lewis is very close to his dad - who helped shape his career
Lewis was videoed as a child talking about his future career, saying: "Imagine being in a Formula One car, that must be very powerful that." At the age of nine, he introduced himself to McLaren boss Ross Dennis at an awards ceremony, while asking for his autograph, and told him: "Hi, I'm Lewis Hamilton. I won the British championship and one day I want to be racing your cars." Dennis wrote in his autograph book: "Phone me in nine years, we'll sort something out then." Three years later, Lewis was signed to the McLaren Driver Development Support programme, and was one of the youngest drivers ever to have been contracted by an F1 team.
The racing driver has gone on to win many championships
Mixing with royalty
Lewis, throughout his career, has been no stranger to royalty, and has impressed everyone from the Queen to Prince Harry. Harry has previously praised Lewis for being a "legend" following his victory at the Formula One World Championship 2014. "Lewis thank you very much for not making the British public sweat," Harry said. "You are an absolute legend. Well done mate."
He was presented an MBE from the Queen in 2009
Meanwhile, in 2015, Lewis opened up about meeting the Queen during an interview with Graham Norton. The pair had been at a private lunch together, and he recalled: "I got invited to a lunch and was sitting next to the Queen. "I was excited and started to talk to her, but she said – pointing to my left – 'No you speak that way first, and I'll speak this way and then I'll come back to you.'" When they did finally get to converse, Lewis revealed: "She is a sweet woman, and we talked about how she spends her weekends, houses and music. She is really cool."
Lewis is currently single, although has been linked to supermodel Winnie Harlow over the years. Neither of them have spoken out about the alleged relationship though. The racing car driver also dated former X Factor judge Nicole Scherzinger on-and-off for eight years before splitting in 2015. The pair remain on friendly terms, and Lewis was pictured the following year hanging out with Nicole and her nieces. Although private about his love life,
Lewis has spoken out about his past romances during an interview on The Jonathan Ross Show in 2015. He said: "I've been in two relationships in my life, I was 18 to 22 and 23 to 30 and so I missed the single life that all my friends had and now I've just been throwing myself at work, I've worked harder than ever this year, as I said I've travelled like crazy, I've experienced everything I want to experience." He also admitted that he had been dating occasionally following the break-up. "Occasionally yes," Lewis smiled. "I'm enjoying it, it's really good fun, it's a fun period of time in my life."