As he prepares for the British Grand Prix, the F1 champion reflected on the early days of trying to be successful in the sport
Image: Mark Thompson)
He was the boy with the baggy pants who feared his fashion sense would cost him his Grand Prix dream.
But tomorrow, jet owner Lewis Hamilton, world icon and F1 multimillionaire, will cause an explosion of joy among 140,000 sold-out spectators and spark national celebrations if he roars into the record books with a victory at the Grand. Great Britain prices.
His look is maybe a little more conventional now and the rebel isn’t afraid of anything.
Not his title rival Nico Rosberg in the other Mercedes and certainly not the dire consequences his own team threatens if the duo collide again.
“Growing up, I was heavily influenced by hip hop,” Hamilton said. “I had the loose clothes, I had the looser jeans.
“When I went to sign my first contract at McLaren, the boss looked me up and down and I thought he wasn’t going to sign me just because of that.”
Now every team in the pit lane would catch up with him if the opportunity arose.
Conspiracy theorists say the seething bickering means the possibility could be closer than his two-and-a-half-year contract with Mercedes suggests.
Hamilton insists that no threat, even a ban or a fine, which can run into the millions, would dampen his runner’s soul. Now smelling blood after reducing the German’s lead from 43 points to just 11 as they clash at his favorite hunting ground in Northamptonshire, Hamilton is only looking to the future.
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Whether he can become the first man to match ‘great Nigel’ Mansell’s four British wins, or the first to win here at Silverstone four times will not be in the foreground of his mind in the heat of the moment.
And if he has to focus on Rosberg, he won’t think for a moment of the frightening sanctions threatened by his boss Toto Wolff, fed up with the Mercedes Kevlar mounting pile.
“No, I would give him everything I had.” That’s how I’ve always raced, ”said Hamilton. “If you look at the passing maneuvers since you were eight years old, I guess 99% have been decent and clean, which in 23 years is pretty good. As Ayrton Senna said, “If you’re no longer looking for a gap, you’re no longer a racing driver.” I live by it.
“I don’t want to push someone off the road to win. Absolutely not. I want to win because I am the best. I don’t want it to be because I had more engines or more luck – I want it to be because I passed the other guy.
“I want to do it the same way Ayrton would. You can compare him to Muhammad Ali – he stood up for what was right. I want to be the same way.
As Hamilton insists all is soft and light between the two teammates, Rosberg shed light on the darker corner of their rivalry, revealing that Hamilton avoided the opportunity to talk about the Spielberg debacle last Sunday. .
“I wanted to discuss it, but he didn’t feel the need. I wanted to know why he had surrendered, “he said.
Where the truth lies is as difficult to discern as what will happen next.
But Wolff insisted, “I think a clean race is achievable, especially given the skill set of these two. Otherwise we would have accidents every weekend.
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