Why Is Lewis Hamilton Nicknamed the Billion Dollar Man?

Published 12/26/2021, 5:38 AM EST
Lewis Hamilton poses for a photo after he was made a Knight Bachelor by Britain’s Charles, Prince of Wales, during an investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle in Windsor, Britain, December 15, 2021. Andrew Matthews/Pool via REUTERS


Sir Lewis Hamilton is one of the greatest drivers F1 has seen. He was recently knighted by Charles, Prince of Wales, for his exceptional achievements in motorsports. More than his success, the Briton’s journey is where his pre-eminence lies.

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Hamilton started his karting career at the tender age of 8. Being the only black driver on the white-dominated grid, making it big was never a piece of cake for him even after his on-track heroics. Coming from a working-class background, and fighting systemic racism, he won 6 different championships between 1995 and 2000. His tremendous success at the junior level earned him the backing of F1 giant Mclaren at the time.

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When he first entered the top-flight in the 2007 F1 season, he smashed almost every record in sight. His accomplishments as a 22-year-old earned him the nickname, “Billion Dollar Man”.

Lewis Hamilton aka Billion dollar man

The Mercedes luminary holds the record for winning most Grand Prix and joint-most world championships. He has won 103 Grand Prix, secured a record 103 poles, and finished on the podium a record 182 times. The Briton entered the scene in the 2007 F1 season for the Surrey-based outfit alongside double world champ Fernando Alonso.

Hamilton piloted his Mclaren to a 3rd place finish in his debut race in Australia. He cruised to his maiden victory in the Canadian GP, the 6th race of his career. The 22-year-old ended up with back-to-back podium finishes in his first 9 races.

Hamilton finished a close second to Kimi Raikkonen in 2007, ahead of Alonso. Expectations were high that he would become the youngest world champion, which he did the following year.

In his formative years, the British media already buzzed him as the best sportsperson in the UK. He was expected to be the first sports star to make a billion-dollar fortune for himself, therefore earning him the nickname.

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL – OCTOBER 18: (L-R) Mclaren Mercedes team mates Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Fernando Alonso of Spain appear at the drivers press conference during previews prior to the Brazilian Formula One Grand Prix at the Autodromo Interlagos in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Hamilton’s net worth

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Although the 36-year-old is not a billionaire, he is one of the richest sportspeople in the world. According to sources, his career earnings make his net worth close to $285 million. Forbes rated him as the highest-paid F1 driver for 2021 with his estimated earnings around $82 million.

Apart from that, he is a centerpiece of various endorsements. He has endorsements from Monster Energy, Puma, IWC, Sony, Bose, Bell Helmets, MV Agusta Motorcycles, and more.

Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala – Met Gala – In America: A Lexicon of Fashion – Arrivals – New York City, U.S. – September 13, 2021. Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Tell us your favorite “Billion dollar man” moments in the comment box.

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Rituraj Tripathi

286 articles

Rituraj Tripathi is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. A true lover of speed, he is big fan of Lewis Hamilton and finds a future world champion in Lando Norris. Rituraj eagerly looks forward to the paddock moving to the Circuit de Monaco, and he finds Portier corner as the most exciting part of the track.

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