Here is the in-depth story of this phenomenon - from his upbringing on a Stevenage council estate to the day he first sat in a kart as a seven-year-old to his sensational challenge on the world title. Friends, colleagues, team-mates, rivals, chaperones and engineers who have worked with him here give some remarkable insights into Lewis the man and the driver, as well as into the close but complex relationship with father Anthony, the man who has largely steered his career. In the process, we see how F1 success has changed this young man's life in a very short space of time.
"'Lewis Hamilton is on the verge of Tiger Woods-like status: forget his skin colour, it's about the emergence of a phenomenon. He's in the process of transcending the whole sport, imprinting himself into the consciousness of people who would normally have little or no interest in Formula One.' The Sunday Times, April 15, 2007"
©2009 Mark Hughes 2007, 2009
I'm a big Hamilton/Mclaren fan, so I was excited to download this title. The early parts of the story are interesting, detailing Hamilton's rise through the karting and lower formula series on his way to F1.
Unfortunately, even casual F1 fans that were watching the 2007 season will know 98% of the F1 information presented already. The F1 portions are mostly recaps of the races from '07, including a complete reading of the race result and drivers championship standings after every race. In other words, the reader will tell you about a dozen times that Sebastian Vettel has 1 point. These readings total up to at least 10 minutes of listen time.
In addition, the glowing way in which Hughes portrays Hamilton gets a bit tiring and redundant after a while. It seems that every move Hamilton makes on track is "inspired" and "flawless". At times, it sounds more like a fan blog than something worth paying for.
Lewis Hamilton is undoubtedly a gifted driver with a long career ahead of him. I recommend waiting till the full story can be told. In the meantime, the Murray Walker audiobook is excellent.
For anyone who would like to have an overview of the genius called Hamilton up to his World championship this is an ideal place to start. From the day he received his first remote controlled car to the time he started out at McLaren. It gives a complete and meticulous breakdown of the stormy relationship of himself and Alonso. At the most significant episodes during their fight for dominance. Also his rise as a kid through the ranks of motorsport.
The only small criticism is the skipping over some of the important moments like when he met Ron Dennis as a kid. I think it was probably the moment that changed his life. Also some other relationships e.g Rosberg.
But other than this- it is probably a very very good summary.
I rated hime as full marks - because he allowed the story to the foreground. And allowed it to tel itself.
For the interested enthusiast this book gives a great background into the make up of Lewis. It covers his life up to the 'first' world championship in such detail you think you must have been there all the time yourself
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