Anybody interested in F1 racing is interested in McLaren team rookie Lewis Hamilton, and with good reason. The young racing phenomenon has just made history, again, as the first black Formula One racer to win the Indianapolis Grand Prix this past Father’s Day weekend in sweltering Indianapolis, Indiana. At 22 years old, this gifted and immensely popular driver has become a favorite in F1 racing circles around the globe.
After taking first place at the running of the Canadian Grand Prix just the week before in Montreal, Hamilton is fast making an impression in the minds of racers and fans alike as being the poster boy for racing success, panache and charm in the world of asphalt, screeching tires and checkered flags. Followed by his McLaren-Mercedes teammate, Fernando Alonso, who took second, third and his usual competitors, Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen of the Ferrari racing team, captured fourth place.
Both Hamilton and Alonso made repeated attempts to maintain the lead over each other, and then Hamilton pulled ahead and stayed there for the duration, though it was by no means an easy feat as he fought to maintain his lead not only over his teammate, but Massa, racing for Ferrari and Nick Heidfeld, driving for BMW Sauber and Keikki Kovalainen racing for Renault.
The Indianapolis Speedway, known as the Indy 500 around the world and fondly known as ‘The Brickyard’ to those who know racing, is the oldest surviving racetrack in the world. Built in 1908, the track, filled with history (and potholes), was originally laid with more than three million bricks, hence it’s nickname.
On any approach to the track less than 10 miles from the center of the city, huge grandstands are the first thing that catch the eye of fans visiting the giant complex that fills the senses with history, excitement and action. The roar of revving engines vies with the roars of the crowd, filled with excited fans from around the world that come every year to witness an event that is second only to the F1 race on the streets of Monte Carlo.
Fans flocked to the Brickyard to see a great race, and a great race is what they got. Watching young Hamilton is like watching horse racing’s favorite son, Willie Shoemaker, race to the finish. Hamilton is fast making a name for himself that will lead to icon status and a secure place in Formula One racing history.
“What a dream!” Hamilton said of his win at Indianapolis. “The last 15 laps seemed a lifetime, but I was in the lead, I was able to do it, and I’m very emotional now.”
Emotional is right. It’s difficult to ascertain who’s more excited about this win, Hamilton or his growing number of fans. Regardless of who’s more excited, fans are definitely keeping their eyes on Hamilton for his upcoming race in France. Stay tuned, folks. This young man is just getting started.
For more information about the annual Monaco Grand Prix, including a report on this year’s race and future dates visit YourMonaco.com