Saturday, July 07, 2007

Driving Towards History

Great Britain's Lewis Hamilton is making a lot of history in his rookie season as a Formula One race car driver.

He is the first Black driver in the 61 year history of Formula One racing. He's the first to ever win the pole at a Grand Prix event (the Canadian Grand Prix) and he's the first to ever win a Formula One race. He's the first rookie to lead in the Formula One driving championship point standings at any time in the season, thanks to finishing no worse than third in the first eight races of the 2007 F1 season.

In addition to his third place finish in his first race, the Australian Grand Prix and a third place finish in the French Grand Prix, he's finished second four times. Hamilton captured the United States Grand Prix in Indianapolis on June 17 in addition to his milestone Canadian Grand Prix victory at Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villenueve on June 10.

There's a point system that determines the F1 driving champion. The top eight finishers earn points (10, 8, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1) in descending order from 10 points for the winner to one point for the eight place finisher. Hamilton currently leads the driver standings with 64 points, 14 points ahead of two time defending Formula One champion Fernando Alonso and 17 points in front of Felipe Massa with nine races remaining. The F1 season concludes with the Brazilian Grand Prix on October 21.

The 22 year old Hamilton is attempting to become the first Englishman since Damon Hill accomplished the feat in 1994 to win the British Grand Prix. He took a major step toward making that happen by capturing the pole position for tomorrow's British Grand Prix to the delight of his fellow Britons. They will be at Silverstone in force to cheer him on.

While auto racing is not high on my list as one of my favorite sports, I have to admit that ever since my roomie Dawn (who's a huge F1 fan) brought the historic nature of Hamilton's quest to my attention I've been getting more familiar with the intricacies of F1 racing.

I'll definitely be watching the British Grand Prix tomorrow to see if Lewis Hamilton can continue his race towards history.

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