Formula 1

Lewis Hamilton finally achieves 'legend' status

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Looking back on the 2015 Formula One season, there has been one man whose dominance within the sport this year has perhaps elevated him to legendary status, Lewis Hamilton.

Propelled to another level

After the Englishman captured his second world title with an imperious display in a nail biting championship decider against colleague Nico Rosberg in 2014, many were intrigued as to how the Mercedes pair would respond in 2015.

However, it wouldn't take long for us to discover that Hamilton had taken his game to another level by winning three of the first four races, giving himself a hefty early advantage.


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Rosberg, as his challenger had a small resurgence with victories in both Spain and Monaco, which boosted hopes of a more competitive fight for the Championship.

Unfortunately, his third win in Austria was the final time the German would go on to beat his team-mate on the track while the Championship was still up for grabs.

Even when Mercedes didn't have it their own way, such as in Malaysia, Hungary and Singapore where a resurgent Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel produced rare defeats for the Silver Arrows, Hamilton was still the lead car over the line.

Qualifying key to success

One of the biggest reasons for Hamilton's success was his qualifying performances as he claimed pole at 11 of the first 12 races. This was used as a platform to convert into victories, seven in total, which kept Rosberg at bay.

This was in stark contrast to the year before when it was the German who had the edge, claiming 11 poles to Hamilton's seven, which led to a much tighter championship battle.

However, even when Rosberg finally got his act together in qualifying this year, claiming the last six poles of the season, Hamilton reminded us of his attacking prowess.

His aggressive overtakes at both Suzuka and Austin to take the lead were testament to this fact and they were moves that would subsequently allow him to control and win these vital races.

A fulfilment of expectation

His superiority finally saw the 30-year-old fulfil the expectation he created when he burst onto the scene in 2007. A fresh-faced kid in a top team, taking on the best and never backing down.

Some will argue his recent successes have been down to a Mercedes car which is well ahead of its rivals. It was an argument also used during Vettel's Championship winning years, however, this year the difference was Hamilton's competitive edge, proving that he really is one of the best on the grid.

By the end of the season, he had accumulated 70 more points than his nearest competitor, proving just how superior the Englishman had been.

A third world title also sees Hamilton achieve his own personal dream, matching his hero Ayrton Senna's tally of three crowns, with the statistics between the two eerily similar.

Hamilton matched the Brazilian legend's total of 41 career wins in 162 races at the Japanese Grand Prix while Senna achieved the same feat during a similar time scale, 159 races.

A final goal?

Despite the Englishman fulfilling his dream within the sport, he is still looking forward to 2016 with the hopes of achieving more honours.

Many are hoping for a much closer championship fight between Mercedes and Ferrari following the Scuderia's vast improvement this year, with the mouth-watering prospect of watching Hamilton and Vettel fight it out for glory once more.

With the German on four championships, Hamilton will surely be keen to match his rival's tally while he is in the prime of his career.

Legend status achieved

He may have had his doubters and criticisms about his attitude at times, but 2015 really was the year that Hamilton cemented his legendary status within the sport.

Matching legends like Jackie Stewart, Niki Lauda and the aforementioned Ayrton Senna, the Englishman must surely now be considered an all-time great, and he did it in style.

Do you think Hamilton will retain his title in 2016? Give YOUR opinion in the comment box below!

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