Household names in American sports are more commonly associated with athletes from the NBA, NFL, and MLB. However, some athletes outside these organizations have broken past the ubiquitous fandom of American basketball, football, and baseball — one being Formula 1 superstar Lewis Hamilton.

The British native’s journey into racing began at the tender age of 8 when he was gifted a used go-kart, coming in at a price point equal to his family’s monthly income, according to Formula 1. Hamilton’s story is a testament to the power of family support, as he participated in local racing events, won championships, and honed his skills with their backing.

His dedication to his craft led to him winning his first F1 race, the Canadian Grand Prix, at the age of 22. This win was especially noteworthy as Hamilton was the first Black driver in the sport.

In July 2024, the 39-year-old won his 104th race at the British Grand Prix, while already holding the honor of winning the most Grand Prix titles of any racer in the history of F1. With his latest win he became the oldest driver in the 21st century to cross the finish line first. In that regard, Hamilton was grateful for this win, noting that getting to this point wasn’t easy.

“The feeling, it feels different to previous races, and particularly races where you’re having race after race after race, or seasons where you’re having multiple wins,” Hamilton said to ESPN. “I think with the adversity we’ve gone through as a team, and that I personally felt that I’ve experienced, those challenges, the constant challenge like we all have to get up out of bed every day and give it our best shot.”

In addition to this win ending a drought he’s had since 2021, it was also his last race before his exit from his partnership with Mercedes. According to Forbes, Hamilton initially signed with Mercedes in 2013 and won back-to-back championships with that team in 2014 and 2015.

That relationship with Mercedes will cease at the end of 2024, as Hamilton has signed with Ferrari, which he will begin racing with in 2025. Based on data from Sports Illustrated, Hamilton’s deal with Mercedes reportedly had him earning $55 million (USD) annually, focusing on a higher base salary over bonuses. In his new deal with Ferrari, his reported income will come with a base salary of 40 million euros (about $43.3 million USD), bolstered by performance bonuses.

Although racing is the primary source of Hamilton’s income, he has also proven to be a savvy investor. A previous AFROTECH™ report noted that the racing aficionado joined the Walton-Penner group to become a co-owner of the NFL’s Denver Broncos.

He also opened a vegan restaurant in his native London, and later expanded to New York. In addition, he co-founded Almave, the world’s first-ever distilled non-alcoholic blue agave spirit. According to Celebrity Net Worth, Hamilton’s racing prowess, coupled with his entrepreneurial endeavors, has led him to an estimated $300 million net worth.