He entered Formula One with a big reputation and quickly backed up his potential. Now Lewis Hamilton is one of the sport's greats.
The young Briton made his debut in F1 with McLaren Mercedes in 2007 and finished second in the title race with four grand prix victories.
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He began the following year in barnstorming fashion with victory at the opening Australian Grand Prix and clinched four of the first 10 races on the calendar.
His success stalled with six straight races without a win but he finally topped the podium again in China and clinched the world title -- by one point from Felipe Massa -- with a fifth place finish at the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Not only was he the youngest driver to win the title at 23, he was the first black driver, and the first Briton to win a world championship since Damon Hill in 1996.
"It hasn't sunk in," Hamilton told CNN's Don Riddell following the race. "Even if I have a week to sit down and think about things...we're always looking forward."
Hamilton is now a five-time world champion, two shy of Michael Schumacher's all-time record.
Watch Hamilton's 2008 interview with CNN World Sport at the top of the page.