New Delhi:The man who almost became champion is named after someone who established himself as one, nine-time Olympic gold medallist Carl Lewis.
Lewis Hamilton has announced himself as sport's newest phenomenon after dominating a major part of this year's formula 1 season as a rookie.
But for a gearbox failure during the 8th lap, which cost him 40 precious seconds, Lewis Hamilton could well have gone on to make history as the youngest formula one champion and the first rookie to manage that feat.
But its more than just his driving skills and his success that draw the young towards Lewis Hamilton's 'applecart'. His winning smile, easy demeanour and quiet confidence make him just as popular. In fact, this was how he took to the fast lane, by racing karts from the age of eight.
The story goes that he told McLaren boss Ron Dennis when he was just ten, that he would drive for McLaren one day. And not only has he done that, he's also set a string of records, most consecutive podium finishes from debut race for one.
What's also been remarkable about his season is the fact that mishaps like crash in Nurburgring have been rare. He's only retired once in this season so far when his right rear-tyre wore out during the Chinese GP.
And only once has he failed to pick up a point despite finishing a race. That, after he came in ninth in the European GP.
The bad blood between Alonso and Hamilton and their team's disqualification from the Team Championships has made this the most controversial season ever in the history of F1.
The spying row led to McLaren being fined a whopping 100 million dollars, many felt, most of all Ferrari who had their designs stolen, that the drivers should have been kicked out as well as the team.
But F1's governing body, the FIA stopped short of that, saying that 'while some degree of sporting advantage was obtained by McLaren, it may be impossible to quantify that advantage in concrete terms'.
What can't be denied, however, is that the bubbly youngster has certainly had a heady start to his career, and thanks to his historic season, lots more material to put in his autobiography, for which HarperCollins have already paid a million pounds. Say hello, then, to the new Tiger Woods of motor sport.