Lewis Hamilton’s highs and lows including feuds, controversy and titles

Lewis Hamilton will begin his quest for his eighth Drivers' Championship today in Bahrain as the new Formula 1 season begins.

The Mercedes megastar has won the last four in a row, as well as six out of the last seven.

Hamilton, 36, is only under contract until the end of the year, and could well decide to walk away from the sport.

The Brit has enjoyed a rollercoaster career filled with drama, having enjoyed dominance on the track while dealing with various issues off it.

Mirror Sport has looked at Hamilton's career and picked out ten of the most notable highs and lows.

Highs

Maiden world title

Hamilton's first world title came in his second season in the sport, having come within a whisker of winning the crown in his first year.

Then at McLaren, he competed against the two Ferrari cars to win the title by a single point.

After winning five races and securing four other podiums, his fifth-place finish in Brazil earned him the title thanks to a last-corner overtake of Timo Glock.

First Silverstone win

Hamilton's first win at Silverstone was perhaps the finest race win of his career.

Having started in fourth in terrible conditions in Northampton, Hamilton blitzed past the rest of the field and even had to be asked to slow down by his own team at one point.

Hamilton ended up lapping every car up to Kimi Raikkonen in fourth, finishing over a minute ahead of second-placed Nick Heidfeld.

2014 season

Hamilton made a huge call in 2012 as he chose to leave McLaren and join up with Mercedes, who had been struggling prior to his arrival.

After finishing in fourth place in the Drivers' Championship standings, he then improved in 2014 and stormed to his second world title win.

The win started his relationship with Mercedes chief Toto Wolff, and saw him begin his reign of dominance.

2019 Monaco Grand Prix

Hamilton's win at the 2019 Monaco Grand Prix was massive for him to continue the pace in the Drivers' Championship, but it was more significant for him emotionally.

Formula 1 legend Niki Lauda, who had been influential in convincing Hamilton to sign for Mercedes and had been a mentor to the Brit, passed away just days before.

Despite a 64-lap stint on the compound tyres, Hamilton stormed his way to victory on the streets of Monaco in what he would later refer to as "one of the hardest races" of his career.

2020 supremacy

In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, Hamilton was as dominant as ever to tie Michael Schumacher's record for world title wins.

He won 11 of 16 races he competed in, finishing third twice and second in the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone.

Hamilton eventually ended up finishing 124 points ahead of his team-mate, and 133 ahead of third-placed Max Verstappen to claim his seventh Drivers' Championship.

Lows

2007 championship

Hamilton had the chance to win his first world title in his debut season after making a lightning start to his career.

The driver, who was at McLaren at the time, scored podium finishes in his first nine grands prix, as well as winning his first race at Canada.

But he was deprived on the final two races of the season, after retiring in China due to an engine problem before crawling to a seventh-place finish in Brazil after suffering a gearbox problem as he finished second in the standings by a point to Raikkonen.

Fernando Alonso feud

During Hamilton's first season with McLaren, he was paired up with Formula 1 world champion Fernando Alonso, who had joined the team from Renault.

The two never saw eye to eye, and were involved in numerous altercations – including an incident at Hungary where Alonso stayed in the pit to prevent Hamilton from completing a flying lap.

After the end of the season, Alonso left to return to Renault as McLaren put their faith in Hamilton.

Nico Rosberg feud

Despite having a close friendship with Nico Rosberg from their time in karting, the pair fell out in a major way while competing for the 2016 Drivers' Championship.

The two were driving for the same team but were constantly battling at the top, and had a couple of run-ins during the season.

Rosberg ended up taking the 2016 title and retiring immediately after, and the pair are believed to be on good terms again.

Misleading stewards

Hamilton's first world title defence began terribly, as he was involved in an incident at the opening Australian Grand Prix with Jarno Trulli.

The Italian was running fourth under a safety car and slid off the road and was passed by Hamilton, who then slowed down to let him back past – when requested to do so by McLaren.

However, he then told media afterwards that Trulli had passed him illegally and that he hadn't been told to do so. The case was protested, and Hamilton was disqualified from the next race at Malaysia, while team manager Dave Ryan was sacked.

Grid girl controversy

After a win at the 2015 Chinese Grand Prix, Hamilton climbed to the top of the podium and doused everyone around in champagne.

However, he sprayed grid girl Liu Siying, in her face, something that landed him in hot water with anti-sexism movement Object.

Siying later told media she had no issue with what Hamilton did, but the star apologised regardless.

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