What Does The Future Hold For Lewis Hamilton?

Barney Corkhill@@BarneyCorkhillSenior Writer INovember 5, 2008

The dust has finally settled on that thrilling Sunday in Brazil where Lewis Hamilton made history in becoming the youngest driver to ever win the Championship.

But, after such a whirlwind start to his Formula One career, what does the future hold for Hamilton? Is it one of glory or disappointment?

Speaking on his return to England today, he confirmed that he plans to stay at McLaren for his entire F1 career. So there is one part of his future we can be fairly sure on.

But with all his potential, many are saying he could become the greatest ever. This is a huge claim with the likes of Michael Schumacher and Ayrton Senna among the F1 heavyweights.

But, at this stage of his career, he is not just keeping pace with the all-time legends, but setting a new pace we haven't seen from a youngster before.

After two seasons, Senna had amassed 51 points. Schumacher had 57. So far, after the same amount of time, Lewis Hamilton has won 207 points. You don't need me to tell you that is a difference of 150 over the great Michael Schumacher.

He is also one of just a handful to have won the Driver's Championship in his first two seasons, and we all know how close he came to winning it in his debut season. He broke numerous rookie records that season.

But there is the distinct possibility that this may be as good as it gets.

Hamilton's career so far bares many resemblances to that of Jacques Villeneuve. He broke numerous records in his first season, many of which he now shares with Hamilton, and even went on to win the World Championship in his second season.

His 159 points amassed in his first two years in F1 are second only to Hamilton. But, despite such a promising start to his career, that second season was his zenith. It was all downhill from there, and Villenueve failed to put his name up among the very best of the sport.

The concerns are that Hamilton may go a similar way. He has gained such a following in England that for this to happen would be something of a tragedy. The start of his career is the best in Formula One history, but can he get even better?

It will interesting to see which way he goes, further up or steadily down.

Personally, I can see him improving every year and perhaps even surpassing the very best of the sport's history. He certainly has the potential for it, but whether that potential will be transformed into Championships remains to be seen.