Lewis Hamilton has revealed in an interview that the dangerous side of racing is something that excites him, setting him and his colleagues apart from other sportsmen.
The 2008 world champion spoke about this aspect of Formula One during an interview with Al Jareeza, also revealing that he suffers from nerves despite his cool and calm demeanor.
“Trying to control your nerves is such a challenge,” Hamilton explained. “Even today I still have nerves. If I don’t have those nerves it means I’m not prepared.”
The knowledge that a big accident could come at any moment may scare many, but Hamilton is spurred on by this.
“It definitely is dangerous and I’m glad that it still has that danger factor to it because that’s what makes it so exciting. That’s what separates us from, you know, any other sport.”
Many purists criticize the modern sport, believing that it lacks the danger and challege that was once present thanks to driver aids and other advancements in technology. However, there have been no deaths in the sport since 1994, proving just how far safety standards have come, but incidents such as Robert Kubica’s accident in 2007 proves that danger is still present.
On Monday, the Formula 1 schedule finally allowed teams to be in Europe before heading to Abu Dhabi for this weekend’s season finale.
And as such, that provided a window for now four-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton to return to the Mercedes AMG Petronas factories in Brackley and Brixworth to be celebrated for taking the driver’s title, as Hamilton an Valtteri Bottas delivered Mercedes its fourth straight constructor’s title.
Hamilton was at Brixworth, the home of Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains (HPP) and its highly successful Mercedes-Benz Power Units first before heading to Brackley, where he was welcomed with a “guard of honor” as the entire team came out to greet him.
The champion was overwhelmed at the response and the welcome.
“This a very emotional day. I was not expecting this, thanks everyone for the warm welcome,” he said. “Today is something that I will never forget, turning up at the front gate of the factory and seeing everyone out on the street to welcome me – I’m blown away.
“This has been an incredible year, it’s been an incredible journey together. There’s a huge amount of respect and appreciation I have for everyone. I’ve been in the sport for a long time now, but to see the work ethic in Brixworth and Brackley really inspires me. Every time I come around, I see everyone operating at 100%, which encourages me to bring my best performance.
“Thank you all for helping me achieve my dreams, it would not have been possible without you. This is the best championship year, because we’ve been fighting another team and because we’ve had the difficulties and challenges we’ve had – that just makes it so much greater.”
A social roundup of images and videos are below, all via Hamilton and the Mercedes team on social media.