After six seasons in Formula One with McLaren, Hamilton will now move on to Mercedes after signing a three-year, £15million-per-season deal with the Brackley-based marque.
During that period Hamilton has enjoyed a number of notable triumphs, but also several moments of anguish - with today's collision with Nico Hulkenberg which ended his race among the latter.
Here are five of his greatest races with McLaren, and five moments he would prefer to forget.
Five of the Best
2007 Canadian Grand Prix, Montreal, June 10
Hamilton rewrote the record books during his rookie season as he finished on the podium in his first nine races. The sixth of those drives saw him claim his maiden victory at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. The Briton led from pole position and kept his cool during four safety car periods to lead home Nick Heidfeld and Alexander Wurz.
2008 Monaco Grand Prix, Monte Carlo, May 25
Hamilton was desperate to follow in the wheeltracks of hero Ayrton Senna by standing on the top step of the podium at Formula One's most glamorous event, and he did so with a superb drive on the treacherous streets of the principality. In wet conditions a sixth-lap brush with a barrier saw Hamilton incur a puncture, only to recover masterfully to claim victory.
2008 British Grand Prix, Silverstone, July 6
Another wet-weather masterclass from Hamilton. Having stormed through from fourth on the grid to pass team-mate Heikki Kovalainen during the early stages, the Briton simply destroyed the field to win by 68 seconds having lapped the whole grid apart from the top three. It was the biggest winning margin in a grand prix since 1995.
2008 Brazilian Grand Prix, Interlagos, November 2
Has there ever been a more dramatic conclusion to a season? Hamilton knew fifth place would guarantee him the title, even if rival Felipe Massa won the race. All hope appeared to be lost when Hamilton fell to sixth shortly after pitting during a late-race shower.
Seconds after Massa took the flag and Brazil began to celebrate, Hamilton passed the Toyota of Timo Glock, struggling on dry-weather tyres, at the last corner of the final lap to clinch his one-and-only crown.
2009 Hungarian Grand Prix, Hungaroring, July 26
Hamilton's title defence proved to be a miserable affair with McLaren miles off the pace during the first half of the season. But a major upgrade package marked a return to the front and Hamilton made full use by taking a dominant victory on a weekend overshadowed by the serious injuries suffered in a qualifying crash by Felipe Massa.
Five to Forget
2007 Chinese Grand Prix, Shanghai, October 7
Hamilton went into the penultimate race of the season with a 17-point lead over his rivals, needing just four from the closing two races of his debut campaign to clinch the crown. After taking pole and leading up until halfway, McLaren foolishly allowed Hamilton to remain out on worn tyres and in changeable conditions. When he pitted, he slid into a gravel trap on entry and was out of the race.
2007 Brazilian Grand Prix, Interlagos, October 21
A fortnight later and with a second bite of the cherry, Hamilton lined up second on the grid, but made a nervy, disastrous start and was eighth by the end of the first lap. On lap eight, having climbed to sixth, his gearbox shifted into neutral for 30 seconds, relegating him to 18th by the time he got going again. Although up to seventh by race end, it was not enough, losing out by a point to Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen.
2009 Australian Grand PRIX, Melbourne, March 29
The scene of 'liegate'. A stirring drive to start the defence of his crown sees Hamilton climb from 18th to fourth, later elevated to third in a post-race investigation into an incident with Toyota's Jarno Trulli. However, Hamilton was discovered to have lied, at the behest of then sporting director Dave Ryan, and was subsequently disqualified. Ryan was later dismissed from his position.
2010 Singapore Grand Prix, Marina Bay, September 26
For the second successive race, and for the third time in four races, Hamilton retires, a run of results that ultimately wrecks his title bid this year. After crashing into Felipe Massa two weeks previously in Italy, an incident that was his fault, in Singapore Hamilton and Mark Webber accidentally collide with one another, the former coming off far worse, with his anger obvious when he exits the car.
2011 Canadian Grand Prix, Montreal, June 12
In wet conditions, and after the first few laps behind the safety car, a clearly-troubled Hamilton - given his run-in with the stewards in Monaco two weeks previously - first clips Webber, sending him into a spin, then misjudges a move on Nico Rosberg and runs wide. Shortly after, Hamilton commits F1's cardinal sin by tangling with team-mate Jenson Button, hitting a wall and retiring.