Campeão mundial em 2008 com a McLaren e em 2014 com a Mercedes, Lewis Hamilton é um mito para os apaixonados pela Fórmula 1. A caminho do GP do Brasil, o jovem britânico, que tem Ayrton Senna como ídolo declarado, já sofreu com as formalidades da realeza e tem sofrido também de preconceito racial... By Jonathan Cameron
Most Formula One racing drivers are the children of rich white families, but world champion Lewis Hamilton is the exception that proves the rule. His family wasn’t rich and he is half-black: his mother, Carmen, is white British but his father, Anthony, is the son of a couple who moved to Britain from Grenada in the 1950s.
Carmen and Anthony separated when Lewis was two but Anthony remained close : Lewis went to live with his dad and his new family when he was 12. His father promised to support his son’s racing career if he studied hard at school. Anthony kept his promise but he had to make many financial sacrifices.
Racism isn’t tolerated in football but it seems to exist in Formula One. During the Spanish Grand Prix in 2008 Spanish fans insulted Lewis Hamilton and some of them wore black face paint and black wigs . They say that Spanish fans hate Hamilton because of his rivalry with Fernando Alonso, but racism in racing also seems to be a problem in Britain. In February of this year journalist Sam Hayward wrote an article with the title: “Do British people actually hate Lewis Hamilton because he’s black?” According to Hayward, Hamilton will never be a national hero..
Lewis Hamilton may not be a national hero but he has had lunch with the Queen, although on this occasion the problem was snobbery – or formality – rather than racism. Lewis was sitting on the Queen’s left. He was excited and he started talking to her, but she explained that during the first course of the meal she had to talk to her guest of honour, who was on her right. The Queen talked to Hamilton during the second course. Later he said: “She is a sweet woman and we talked about how she spends her weekends, houses and music. She is really cool.” :
JUST AS HIM
Hamilton himself is really cool. His first World Championship was in 2008, at the age of 23. He is the youngest Formula One champion in history. He will probably win the World Championship again this year*, although his main rival is his Mercedes team-mate , Nico Rosberg. Over the last months he has sustained and enlarged the advantage over Rosberg, and here’s what Lewis Hamilton posted on his Twitter account Sep 27 after matching Ayrton Senna for career victories in F1: IDOL! #TheGreatest! #AyrtonSenna #KingSenna #GodBless. No doubt, then, that the possibility of becoming a world champion for a third time at Interlagos, the home course of his idol, would be tantalizing for Hamilton!
* This article was recorded before a champion had been completely determined – Ed.
Tags: LEWIS HAMILTON