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Few countries have such unimpeachable car-crazed credentials than the Isle of Man. The semi-autonomous British island has no speed limits, boasts a fearsome TT road course, and is home to a handful of motorbike champions, former F1 world champion Nigel Mansell and even Jeremy Clarkson has a house there. Apparently, the love of motorsports hasn't escaped any crevice of Manx society -- not even the postal service -- which has announced it is issuing a set of stamps to honor Britain's new golden boy, recently crowned Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton.
The six-stamp set, which will be released on January 15, will feature images from Hamilton's triumphant season, and follows the British Racing Greats which the Philatelic Bureau of the Isle of Man Post Office released earlier this year. A set of stamps might not quite measure up against the McLaren F1 LM supercar which Hamilton was promised as a reward for the title, but who knows, maybe letters will arrive at their destination a little faster with Lewis driving. Press release after the jump.
[Source: Isle of Man Post Office]
Stamps Featuring WORLD F1 CHAMPION LEWIS HAMILTON To be issued by ISLE OF MAN POST OFFICE
The Isle of Man, known around the world for its love of motorsport, is celebrating Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton's 2008 F1 World Championship and what better way to do it than issuing a set of six exciting stamps featuring stunning images of his championship year.
The Isle of Man Post Office is delighted to have such a world great added to their philatelic collection. As well as the stamps, Lewis Hamilton – Formula One World Champion, a first day cover, presentation pack and special sheet folder will also be produced and issued on Thursday 15th January 2009.
The stamps are complemented with a review of Lewis's outstanding achievement by legendary TV Formula 1 commentator Murray Walker OBE. He's tipped to become one of the greatest drivers of all time having become the youngest-ever World Champion in Formula One in 2008. This passion for motor racing started from the tender age of six and Lewis became the Kart Champion at just 10-years-old. But his success from that point onwards is attributed to two men. His father Anthony has motivated, guided and supported his brilliant son every step of the way, from the first time he drove a kart to introducing Lewis to McLaren boss Ron Dennis at the 1995 Autosport Awards. That meeting was to yield successful rewards for Lewis, his father, Ron Dennis, for McLaren and Formula One itself.
Legendary F1 commentator Murray Walker OBE describes Lewis as 'a phenomenon' and has 'never seen anyone as instantly impressive' as the 23-year old. Although he feels Lewis is no better than the famous drivers Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher or Juan Manuel Fangio, to name but a few, he says 'there is absolutely no reason, in principle, why he shouldn't surpass them all – provided he continues to drive for a team that enables him successfully to exploit his unbounded talent. But it is thanks to Lewis' long association and apprenticeship with McLaren and Mercedes Benz that he was able to start in Formula One with one of the top two teams which gave him an immeasurably advantage.'
Dot Tilbury, Philatelic Bureau Manager, Isle of Man Post Office, said: "We are thrilled and honoured to be part of the celebrations to acknowledge Lewis's 2008 F1 World Championship and hope our stamps capture the spirit of his momentous achievement to all his fans around the world."
Martin Whitmarsh, CEO Formula 1, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes said: "The Isle of Man's motorsport heritage and enthusiasm for racing is known throughout the world. Therefore, it's entirely fitting that it has chosen to celebrate Lewis's tremendous world championship victory by issuing a set of six commemorative stamps that really capture the emotions of a fantastic season."