by Adrian-Liviu Dorofte

Lewis Hamilton eclipses Jim Clark's team loyalty benchmark


Woking, United Kingdom, Apr 13, 2011

As he drove across the finish line at the Sepang International Circuit on April 10, Lewis Hamilton managed to eclipse the legendary Jim Clark’s 72-race benchmark of spending the entirety of his career with a single team.

His 73rd race for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes means that Lewis is now the driver who has spent the longest time in terms of races driving for a single Formula 1 outfit. Of course, for the record to stand, he must continue with Vodafone McLaren Mercedes until his retirement from the sport.

There are no guarantees whether that will happen, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that he has surpassed a record which stood for an incredible 43 years.

Lewis said: “I’m told that Jim Clark drove 72 races for Lotus, and Malaysia was my 73rd race with Vodafone McLaren Mercedes.

“And it also makes me feel very humble – I never saw Jim Clark race, but I know that he’ll always be remembered as one of the greats, and as a loyal Lotus driver. Loyalty’s extremely important and I’m proud to be mentioned in the same breath as him.”

Jim Clark raced for Lotus from 1960 until his death in 1968. Along the way, he won two world championships (1963 and 1965), 25 races, started from pole position 33 times, set 28 fastest laps and amassed 274 points – a huge tally for the era he raced in.

Besides being a double Formula 1 world champion, Jimmy was also an Indianapolis 500 winner, a British Touring Car Champion, a three-time Tasman Series champion, and even scored a third place at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1960.

* Official photo and details courtesy of VODAFONE MCLAREN MERCEDES *

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