Lewis Hamilton should now be considered the greatest driver in Formula One history

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Lewis Hamilton proved again on Sunday why he truly is the best in the business.

He produced another trademark blistering performance and successfully managed a tyre puncture on the last lap whilst racing at 230km an hour.

By managing to get home on three wheels, he further illustrated his brilliance and current dominance of the sport.

In doing so, he also set a new record for most races led from start-to-finish, beating Ayrton Senna’s haul of 19, while his 87th career victory moves him just four short of Michael Schumacher’s all-time win record, a record which is clearly within reach this season.

He is also just one podium away from equaling the legendary German’s 155 career podiums.

If all of that was not enough, he is now miles clear of Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas, 30 points to be exact, after just four races of the season. In previous campaigns, whenever he has won three of the first four races, he has always gone on to win the title that season.

A record-equaling seventh is looking like it is only a matter of months away.

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So, what of the Lewis Hamilton story?

From relatively humble beginnings in Stevenage to global superstar, it is almost beyond doubt now that Lewis Hamilton is not only the greatest Formula 1 driver of his generation, but of all time.

After showing promise as youngster in karting, he proved his worth by winning Formula Three and GP2 championships. He was famously signed to the McLaren driver development programme by former boss Ron Dennis aged just 13 after telling him that one day he would be driving one of his cars.

He went on to finish runner-up in his debut Formula 1 season before winning the title in his second season in 2008.

After a frustrating few years at McLaren, he admitted to a loss of focus and frustrations with the direction of the team and pace of the car. He surprised the Formula 1 world by announcing in 2012 that he was leaving his boyhood team to join the fledgling Mercedes team, who at the time had no track record of success in the sport.

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Since 2014, his success on the track has been unrivaled. In only one of those intervening years back in 2016 did he miss out on the title as he was narrowly beaten by childhood friend and rival Nico Rosberg.

In that season, he still managed more race wins and pole positions than Rosberg, but narrowly missed out on the championship by five points.

In 2018, the much-hyped showdown between him and Sebastian Vettel, dubbed the fight for five, took place, and it appeared that Vettel had the upper hand in the first half of the season. However, as the German's season imploded in spectacular fashion towards the back end, Hamilton kicked into gear and won six races in seven to clinch the championship at the Mexico Grand Prix.

So where does Hamilton rank alongside the other greats of the sport?

Only five men in history have won more than four titles in the sport. Hamilton is currently second with six championships, behind only Schumacher.

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However, he is looking on course to win a record equaling seventh this season and will no doubt target more success in the coming years.

He currently holds the record for the most consecutive race starts with 254 to his name from 2007 until the present day. In terms of pole positions, he is way out in front with 91 poles from 254 starts, with Schumacher back in second.

He sits in second with total fastest laps of all time and is closing in Schumacher’s records for both total wins and total Championships wins.

Strong claims can be made for the likes of Ayrton Senna, however, sadly his death cut short what may have been an even more lucrative career.

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Michael Schumacher and Juan Manuel Fangio also may be argued by F1 traditionalists as the GOATs, but looking at what Hamilton has already achieved to date, and what he is likely to achieve over the course of this season and coming seasons, it is rightly argued that he is already the F1 GOAT.

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