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He described the feeling after his maiden pole position as "better than sex"; reportedly swore at his mentor for allegedly preferring the other driver; put pictures of classified team data on a social networking site; and hit out at his teammate for 'unfollowing' him.

In an increasingly mechanical world of Formula One drivers, Lewis Hamilton is a refreshing throwback.

Besides being arguably the quickest on the grid – one that has five more world champions (former and current) besides him – Hamilton has what few drivers, bar perhaps Kimi Raikkonen, in modern day F1 have: a personality. While his mixed-racial background makes him unique in this predominantly white man's sport, it's his aggressive, instinctive and handle-with-care nature that makes him a character. The sport could do with more of these.

Then again Hamilton, too, perhaps could do a lot more without being himself. The Brit was a racing prodigy of the like never seen in a long time. At 13, he had told McLaren chief Ron Dennis that he wanted to drive for the team in F1 one day. And when he eventually did, nine years later, the 22-year-old Hamilton produced the finest performance by a rookie driver, missing out on the world championship by just one point. One year later, he won by the same difference.

Four years later, he hasn't even come close to repeating it, despite showing enough flashes of brilliance to indicate that those two seasons weren't freak. That the subsequent dry run is.

'No complaints'

Hamilton explains: "When I won the world championship, I wasn't as lucky as Sebastian (Vettel) has been to have a car that's as dominant the next year as well. I'm definitely very sad that we've not been able to win another world championship... I feel that we, as a team, are good enough to have done so and I feel that I'm good enough to have done so. It hasn't happened and I'm not going to complain."

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