Most of the current crop of Formula one Driver’s are only in the position that they are because they bring sponsorship or they have a rich backer who pays for them to be part of the team. Admittedly they do need to have some skills to obtain a licence but they are supported and subsidised all the way or have an advantage. One example is Lance Stroll whose father owns Force India and, unsurprisingly he will race for them next year cutting off a revenue stream to the struggling Williams team. Compare this then to the five-time current World Champion Lewis Hamilton and you will see a marked difference. You can watch this incredible individual racing around the track in style in the Canada F1 Paddock Club and can view the options here at edgeglobalevents.com/f1-paddock-club/f1-paddock-club-canada
Hamilton is of mixed race but identifies as Black. Amazingly, especially as it has been going since the early 1950’s, he is to date the only person of colour to be a race driver in Formula One. What is even more surprising is the lengths that he and his family have gone through to get him where he is today. Like Nigel Mansell cleaning windows to raise money to race at the weekends he is a self-made man in the sport albeit he did get a fair bit of help
Hamilton hails from the unfashionable town of Stevenage, a fact he recently acknowledged to some controversy with his description of it, and a broken home with his parents separating at two and the young Lewis spending his infant years with his mother and step sisters. It was the gift of a remote control car by his father on Lewis’s sixth birthday that set the course for his career. Rather than trash the thing he joined a club and started to race them competitively showing amazing promise by regularly beating adults. This inspired his Father to see if the skill could be translated and he then bought a go kart for Lewis on the provision that he studied hard at school. Hamilton senior astutely recognising that a decent education for his son was also needed. The real story should focus on Anthony Hamilton as he took a massive risk by accepting a redundancy and working as a contractor in anything up to three jobs plus remortgage his home to make sure that Lewis got his shot.
A turning point came when after a series of karting victories he was introduced to Ron Dennis, the Team Principal of the hugely successful McLaren team. The ten year old Lewis walked up to him, introduced himself as the British Champion, which he was, and stated his intention and wish that he would be driving a McLaren one day. An impressed Dennis wrote, “Phone me in 9 years…” 12 years later Lewis duly began his Formula one career with MacLaren in 2007 missing the title by a point and winning it by a point the year after.