If you live in the UK or are even remotely interested in motor sport, you will inevitably have become aware that Lewis Hamilton won his second World Championship title in 2014. Subsequently named BBC Sports Personality of the Year, there has been written countless articles portraying the Stevenage lad and it is probably a little arrogant to think that I will be able to provide a new perspective. But I’ve promised myself to remain fearless of mediocrity and I will damn well have a go!
5 facts everyone should know about Lewis Hamilton
He dates a pussycat doll. Yep, the perky, fun and energetic singer Nicole Scherzinger, who has doubtlessly had you glued to the screens watching X-Factor, where she has been a judge in recent years, has a rather complex on-again/off-again relationship with the double world champion. Most likely, no one but the two of them truly know exactly what is going on between them, but for the rest of us mere non-superstar mortals it’s always fun guessing.
He was the first black driver in F1. Yep, you read correctly. While you may think that the absence of women on the F1 grid today is an appalling black mark for which we’ve yet to hear a credible explanation, so was the absence of black men in the sport until Hamilton’s arrival in 2007. And in case you haven’t noticed, he’s still the only one, and the sport generally has quite some way to go on the diversity front.
He is the latest braker on the grid. Not quite sure what I mean by that? Well, the later you brake into a corner, the quicker you are. Why aren’t all F1 drivers late brakers? Well, compared to you or me they are, but the later you brake the greater the risk is that you’ll lock up your tyres. Basically, they stop turning round and you skid along on one side thus flatspotting them. Then you’ll have to drive your car with a tyre like an incorrectly sliced camembert (wedge is the only way guys!). Hamilton’s father taught him how to brake late by jumping out in front of his go-kart.
He has known Nico Rosberg since he was 12. The two fierce rivals of the 2014 season actually used to race against each other for the same team in their karting days in Italy. Needless to say, they were quite good friends but also know exactly how to hit each other’s buttons, which made for quite fun off-circuit drama in 2014 which helped emphasise the fierce rivalry on-track.
His instagram is @lewishamilton. This is one of my personal favourite instagrams, where you can see pictures of Lewis, the people around him and almost as importantly – his adorable bulldog Roscoe. It’s ok, go have a look, I’m done writing for now anyway.