Lewis Hamilton has now officially joined the league of greats, as he has become only the third Formula 1 driver to win five world championships after Juan Manuel Fangio and Michael Schumacher. The 2018 Formula 1 season was arguably his one of the best and the Brit had the chance of sealing the title at the United States Grand Prix, but a relatively slow start in the opening lap spoiled his party.
The Mexican Grand Prix was a different ball game whatsoever as the only thing he needed was a seventh or a higher place finish. Max Verstappen, Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen acquired the podium places respectively and a fourth spot finish secured him the title.
“This feels the proudest moment,” Hamilton said after the race, “because we have not had the fastest car at the majority of the races and yet we have come away with more wins and pole positions than I could have hoped for.”
The five-time world champion sure knows how to grab headlines; be it with his flawless drives, his Instagram activities or even with his – like media usually speculates – ‘romantic hook-ups’. To say the 33-year-old Brit is at the peak of his career – or say driving with the ‘God Mode’ activated – would be an utter understatement. And god knows how he is backing his professional life with his personal ventures.
Signing a two-year extension with Mercedes, which is worth whopping $50 million a year, Hamilton is showing no signs of slowing this down whatsoever. And apart from being on the track of getting his hands on the fifth world title, the 33-year-old is slowly and steadily progressing his way into different projects. And as he says, he is getting his seeds planted across different areas.
— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) October 28, 2018
“I like to think I’m quite good at choosing the business ventures that I enter,” says Hamilton. “I like to think I have got relatively good foresight on a lot of things that I choose to be a part of and do.”
We all have heard about his mega Tommy Hilfiger deal, but most of us aren’t aware of his collaboration with Christina Aguilera. Aguilera, who was spotted with the Mercedes pit crew during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, has welcomed Hamilton to collaborate in one of her tracks under the pseudonym ‘XNDA’.
Talking of pop stars, it was only last month that Lewis was spotted with musician friend Nicki Minaj in Dubai, and rumours were quick to gain flames. Stories across several media outlets published the same picture, and it eventually became the bigger talking point than him winning the Singapore Grand Prix earlier during the weekend.
Hamilton, who grew up idolising the Formula 1 great Ayrton Senna, says that getting fame was never his aim for choosing the sport. “I find it interesting today because you see people go on TV shows to get quick fame and people want to be famous immediately,” he says. “For me, it was never a thought I even had to be famous, I just wanted to race. I don’t know why I didn’t connect fame to Senna. I saw him as a racing driver, but I never looked at him as a famous person.”
But now that it follows the Brit everywhere he goes, he plans to get the advantage of him. “The fact is, I have whatever amount of fame I have and you have to try and enjoy it. It’s taken a long time to realise that, so I enjoy it. Do I like it? It’s kind of cool when people surprise you out of the bushes or people come up to you, kids and adults, rushing towards you to get autographs. I think it’s kind of cool, but it’s not been my drive.
“It’s part of the package. It’s not all it’s cracked up to be, that’s for sure. People today want to be famous and they think it’s the greatest thing, but there are other things that are much better.”
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Wow…Such a special weekend! It’s been a tough race and I can’t thank the team enough for everything that they do, they truly inspire me. It felt like the longest race in my life, I’m spent and overwhelmed with emotion. Thank you to the fans for the incredible support, I love you guys. Giving all the glory to God ?? #StillWeRise #TeamLH #SingaporeGP #F1 #Godisthegreatest
Like many sporting greats, Lewis Hamilton has come from a humble beginning. And he never shies away in crediting his father for his dedication and contribution right from his carting days. But all his hard work has paid off in perfect style, as Hamilton now stands on the brink of equalling Michael Schumacher’s record. The Brit only needs 20 wins to equal the seven-time world champion’s 91 wins record and judging by how Hamilton is doing (10 wins a season), there is no way down.
But when associated with the all-time great, the first thing that appears in Hamilton’s mind is the hardship he and his father has gone through. “It is definitely cool when people mention a great’s name and they put your name alongside it. I mean, I remember me and my dad turning up at this race track, my kart shoved in the back of the car and we were nobodies.
“My dad had the roughest clothes on him, he looked like a tramp, and we used to watch Senna on TV — we never thought, one day, people would mention my name in the same sentence as his. It’s very, very surreal that’s for sure.”
“I grew up seeing kids arriving in helicopters and stuff. Me and my dad were in our Fiat Cinquecento and they were turning up in their Lamborghinis. It was like, ‘OK, you can have that now, but there is no way you are going to win this race’. I really hope that there is some of that rawness coming through in the next generation, those diamonds in the rough. That’s what all sports unleash at some stage, and that’s the greatness I think.
“If you look at Muhammad Ali, if you look at Mike Tyson, these guys were from the streets. Mo Farah, Paula Radcliffe, they are all digging deep from super basic roots and the struggles that they go through and the pain that they have from the struggles that they go through, you can’t beat that raw natural hunger. If I had a kid right now he would have such an easy life, and there is no way he is going to be as hungry as me.”