Inspirational Messages For LIfe

Hypeless Messages To Show Life Is Not Hopeless

Short Inspiring Stories: Lewis Hamilton’s Drive

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In December 1995, Ron Dennis, the team principal of the McLaren Formula 1 team, attended the Autosport Awards ceremony. Whilst there, Dennis was approached by a small ten year old boy of mixed race for an autograph. The boy looked at Dennis and announced “Hi. I’m Lewis Hamilton. I won the British Championship and one day I want to be racing your cars.” Dennis smiled and wrote these words of motivation in the autograph book, “Phone me in nine years, we’ll sort something out then.”

Lewis Hamilton was born on 7 January 1985 in Stevenage, Hertfordshire. His father, Anthony, was himself born of Grenadian parents who came to England in the 1950s. His mother, Carmen Larbalestier was white British. Lewis (named after sprinter Carl Lewis) was brought up by his mother for ten years after his parents split in 1987 and then by his father and stepmother.

Lewis showed promise in motor sport very early on. His father bought him a radio-controlled car in 1991 and he came second in the BRDA national championship the following year against adult competitors. This success brought Lewis to the notice of the BBC and he was featured on the Blue Peter programme.

Motor racing is an extremely expensive sport but Anthony Hamilton told his son that he would support him as long as Lewis worked hard at school. To keep this promise, Anthony had to take redundancy as an IT manager and become a contractor, often working three jobs at a time to support his son. Eventually this determination led to Anthony setting up his own IT company and becoming manager for and giving words of motivation to Lewis and is now doing the same for the new boy in the Formula 1 world, Paul di Resta.

Lewis did work hard at school but even better at sports. He played cricket for his school and football too. Lewis feels if his racing career had not taken off he might have become a professional footballer. Interestingly he was bullied at school and took up Karate to help overcome this.

At the age of eight, Lewis began karting and began to achieve success in that field. In 1998, after he had won his second British karting championship, the telephone rang and it was Ron Dennis delivering on his promise early. Lewis was signed to the McLaren driver development programme, which included the option of a Formula 1 drive in the future.

In 2001, Michael Schumacher raced Hamilton in karts and was full of praise for his driving style. Shortly after this, Lewis started racing cars in Formula Renault.

After rising up through the formulae, Lewis Hamilton finally got his drive in a Formula 1 car in 2007 and celebrated with a third place in his first race. He went on to be the youngest driver to lead the world championship. In 2008 he went on to become the youngest world champion.

Lewis is very much determined to win, despite controversy along the way. In Spain in 2008 he was racially abused by spectators and recently his sometimes aggressive driving style has lead him to incur penalties from race stewards. He reflected after on race that he had “a platinum membership card” to the stewards’ office. One other driver has also been criticized for aggression in the recent past and that was seven times world champion Michael Schumacher.

Interestingly, Nicolas Hamilton, Lewis’ half-brother has cerebral palsy but has just started a racing career himself in the Renault Clio Cup. He is often to be seen with his father cheering Lewis on at Formula 1 races and was recently filmed at the 2011 Hungarian Grand Prix glaring as Lewis served a drive-through penalty.

Lewis Hamilton has both entertained and thrilled Formula 1 fans with his determination and his humanity. Presently teamed up with Former champion Jensen Button at McLaren, the two of them have always shown a sense of humour off the racetrack but a will to win on track.

To watch Lewis Hamilton drive is to think how lucky he is to have the career he has but, as is so often the case, this ignores the perseverance and sacrifices made by both father and son to get him to this point.

Lewis Hamilton has a lot of inspiration messages to give us.

Click here to watch a fascinating 2007 BBC documentary on the career of Lewis Hamilton.


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