Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton credits dad for his success: ‘He’s a real hero’

The British racing champion says he owes all his success to his father's sacrifice

Lewis Hamilton the British Formula 1 driver credits his dad’s dedication as the reason for his victories.

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Hamilton made history this month when he grabbed the 2020 F1 Championship at the Turkish Grand Prix. But in a recent interview with People magazine, he says he attributes all of his success to his father, Anthony Hamilton.

F1 Grand Prix of Portugal
Race winner Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP celebrates his record breaking 92nd race win with his father Anthony Hamilton in parc ferme during the F1 Grand Prix of Portugal at Autodromo Internacional do Algarve on October 25, 2020 in Portimao, Portugal. (Photo by Jorge Guerrero – Pool/Getty Images)

“People see me winning these championships but I think the important story really is that father-son, or son of a parent, story which so many people across the world, in America and the U.K., can relate to, because we did it as a family,” said Lewis to People. “I think probably every parent wants the best for their kids. My dad, he never went out. He never had new clothes. He wasn’t saving up to buy anything new. Everything — remortgaging the house multiple times — went into go-karting, which sounds crazy. It is crazy, but he believed so much in me.”

Hamilton went on to win 94 races beating German racing legend Michael Schumacher’s record of 91.

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He goes on to add that it wasn’t easy being Black in a predominately white sport.

“When we arrived on the go-kart track, we were the only Black family there. We’ve always been the only Black family there,” he said to People. “There was a lot thrown at us in those early years. I always relate it to Cool Runnings, my favorite movie, because when they get to the top of the hill for the first time, they have this rusty sled. That was my go-kart.”

He adds, “It was owned by five different families. It was bent and buckled, and it didn’t look like much, but I loved it. [My father] went to a DIY store, and he made it look as brand new as he could.”

Hamilton, 35, whose mother, Carmen is white, is still the only Black Formula 1 driver and he uses his platform to amplify Black issues. He took a knee before July’s Austrian Grand Prix and at another race, wore a shirt that said, “Arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor.” 

He also told the publication retirement is not in his near future.

“I still feel young and energized, I don’t feel I’m finished. I feel like I’m getting better, so I’m going to keep racing for a bit, I think.”

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