He was inspired by Ayrton Senna, nurtured by Ron Dennis, and wooed by Niki Lauda to replace Michael Schumacher. Lewis Hamilton's star has ascended with the help of some rather special people.
None, however, can have foreseen the degree to which the journey from Stevenage to superstardom would take Britain's most successful grand prix driver of all time far beyond the fame afforded to your typical Formula 1 world champion.
You need only have watched the now-famous appearance of a seven-year-old Lewis on BBC's Blue Peter, or have been in the audience at the 1996 Autosport Awards, to know that here was someone different. Then followed his apprenticeship at McLaren, and a meteoric rise through the junior racing formulae.