“Difficult for Him to Show Me Love”: Lewis Hamilton Reveals How F1 Lifestyle Drove a Complicated Relationship With His Dad

Published 01/24/2023, 7:00 AM EST

Lewis Hamilton’s journey to Formula 1 almost seems like a fairy tale. A young boy from a middle-class family overcomes obstacles on his way to a sport that had never seen a black driver win the championship, that too a record number of times, matching the legendary Michael Schumacher. The story has it all, and a big chunk of credit would go to Lewis’s father, Anthony Hamilton.

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Lewis’s father worked multiple jobs and even worked on his son’s kart, to begin with. He was there at all times for his son, helping him in the most peculiar ways that no one else would. He was also his mentor and manager, and everything in between, until the early years of the driver’s career. But being in a mentor-son relationship took a toll on Lewis, as he would miss being with his dad and the emotional support that he needed while growing up.

Formula One F1 – Portuguese Grand Prix – Algarve International Circuit, Portimao, Portugal – Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton celebrates with his father Anthony after winning the race Pool via REUTERS/Jorge Guerrero

In a recent podcast with Jay Shetty, the Mercedes driver opened up about how his racing, most notably Formula 1, hampered his relationship with his father. “It was quite phenomenal to see um, but I think it was difficult for him to then show me love,” he said, adding, “and sometimes you just want to be hugged by your dad, you know, or when you’re facing these things, you want to be embraced.”

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The sport had massively hurt the relationship between the duo. There was even a period early in Lewis Hamilton’s Formula 1 career where the relationship between him and his father completely broke down due to managerial differences.

Lewis Hamilton speaks about the split with his father

The Hamiltons had a hard time in 2010 following their split. The driver acknowledged he had a hard time managing the media due to the absence of a PR team and having only his family’s support behind the scenes. And to make things right, he separated his father while exiling Anthony from the paddock.

Formula One F1 – British Grand Prix – Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain – July 18, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton celebrates with his father after winning the race REUTERS/Peter Cziborra

Back then, as reported by Express.co.uk, Lewis cleared the air, saying, “Dad will miss being here, but it was me who initiated the break. He’s got other things to focus on, and I don’t want my dad being my manager anymore.”

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Later, on an episode of David Letterman’s show, Anthony expressed his feelings about his son’s actions. He said, “Definitely not. Broke my heart. From the time he started at eight years of age, we used to have a father-son ‘Be careful, love you, do the best you can’ handshake.”

“Every time he went out on the race. And in 2010, that was it. It all just stopped. Yeah, it was hard. We didn’t communicate for probably that year and the second year.”

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The father-son duo has grown up tremendously. Despite their differences, they have shown understanding and are often spotted together in the paddock. And even now, Anthony remains the biggest supporter of Lewis.

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Manan Goel

128 articles

Manan Goel is a Formula 1 author at EssentiallySports. As a literature student at Delhi University, he had been a geek for fiction and a nerd for sports. He claims Sebastian Vettel was his first love after seeing him at the Indian Grand Prix, and he has been a fan of the sport and Red Bull ever since.

Edited By: Ranvijay Singh

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