Built for Speed

MARK THOMPSON / Getty

STAYING COOL: Hamilton takes shelter from the heat before his record-breaking drive in the Bahrain Grand Prix

The first hints of greatness came at an early age. As an 8-year-old in his debut kart race just outside London, Lewis Hamilton charged "more like a mature driver than a novice," recalls Martin Hines, owner of the Zip Kart racing company. "There was a little spark about him." That spark is now in full flame. Just 22, and in his rookie season in Formula One, Hamilton — the first black driver in auto racing's blue-ribbon championship — is tied for the lead in the drivers' standings. Following a third-place finish during the season opener in Australia last month, Hamilton sped...

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