During the 2011 Formula 1 racing season, the young British driver Lewis Hamilton had a tough time and he was badly in need of words of motivation. A troubled relationship with girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger disturbed the concentration of the normally focused Hamilton and continued bad reactions to his normal aggressive but highly entertaining driving style meant that he ended up in front of race stewards on several occasions. On one occasion he even joked with reporters saying “I have a platinum members card to the stewards area.”
Hamilton clearly found his own words of motivation as at the Abu Dhabi race, the penultimate one of the 2011 season, he pulled ahead of the other drivers and stayed there to win: just another chapter in one of those short inspiring stories we all love to hear.
Lewis Hamilton was born nearly 27 years ago on 7 January 1985 to a white British mother, Carmen Larbalestier, and Anthony Hamilton whose parents had come over from Grenada in the 1950s. Lewis was named after the sprinter Carl Lewis and was looked after by his mother for ten years after 1987 when his parents spilt up.
Eventually Lewis was brought up by his father and stepmother. It was during this time his interest in racing really took off. In 1991 Anthony bought his son a radio-controlled car and Lewis came second in the BRDA national championships against adult competitors. It was at this event that Lewis first came to the attention of the BBC and he was featured on the first of several occasions by the popular Blue Peter programme.
Many sports are very expensive and motor racing is no exception. One of the inspirational messages to come out of Lewis Hamilton’s story is the fact that he is the first successful Formula 1 driver to come from relatively humble beginnings. Much of this is as a result of Anthony Hamilton’s commitment on the early days: he told his son he would support him in his ambitions just as long as Lewis worked hard at school.