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Lewis Carl Davidson Hamilton, MBE is a British Formula One racing driver from England, currently racing for the Mercedes AMG team. He is the 2008 Formula One World Champion. Hamilton was born in Stevenage, Hertfordshire. In December 1995, at the age of ten, he approached McLaren team principal Ron Dennis at the Autosport Awards ceremony and told him, "I want to race for you one day ... I want to race for McLaren." Less than three years later McLaren and Mercedes-Benz signed him to their Young Driver Support Programme. After winning the British Formula Renault, Formula Three Euroseries, and GP2 championships on his way up the racing career ladder, he drove for McLaren in 2007, making his Formula One debut 12 years after his initial encounter with Dennis. Hamilton's contract for the McLaren driver development program made him the youngest ever driver to secure a contract which later resulted in a Formula One drive. Coming from a mixed background, with a black father and white mother, Hamilton is often labelled "the first black driver in Formula One", although Willy T. Ribbs tested a Formula One car in 1986. He is also the first driver of black African heritage to win a major race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in any discipline.