How a Bloody Nose Made Lewis Hamilton Fearless in F1

Published 04/02/2021, 1:43 PM EDT
ISTANBUL, TURKEY – NOVEMBER 15: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP looks on from the grid before the F1 Grand Prix of Turkey at Intercity Istanbul Park on November 15, 2020 in Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo by Kenan Asyali – Pool/Getty Images)


Lewis Hamilton set the wheels in motion for a record 8th World Title with a win in Bahrain. This unprecedented achievement will make the greatest to drive an F1 car, at least on paper. But do you ever wonder what led him to become the person that he today?

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It is a mixture of experiences, especially in his younger days, filled with traumatic experiences which helped fuel the fire inside. One of those was a boxing lesson that he took at the instruction of his father.

Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Race winner Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton during the press conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES

Hamilton, by his own admission, was a frequent target of bullies in school. So, his father, Anthony Hamilton, wanted him to be able to defend himself. So, how did it go for him?

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He was badly beaten inside the ring by a tall and strong boy. Naturally, he went home in tears, with blood running from his nose. Any normal father would hug his 8-year-old kid to comfort him. But Mr. Anthony Hamilton isn’t your normal dad.

“I remember my dad kneeling down in front of me and saying, ‘You’re going to get back in there and give it everything you’ve got’,” Lewis Hamilton told ‘Wired’ in an interview.

“You’ve got to face your fears headfirst. I went in, and I didn’t let this kid get a single punch in, and I overcame this fear. I use that same experience with all my racing.”

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Lewis Hamilton’s personality has evolved tremendously over the course of his F1 career. He’s grown from his stint at McLaren to the later stage of his career now with Mercedes. The core reason for that has been his prowess behind the wheel.

It’s allowed him to gain attention and express himself more freely. More importantly, during his younger days, it helped him overcome his shyness and learning difficulties.

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“I had this strength that I didn’t even know that I had, and the growth that I would experience through these races of being able to put my elbows out, stand up, not be pushed over and bullied, was really empowering,” said Lewis Hamilton.

He’s always trying to find the limit, not just of his F1 car, but also of himself. He showcased that with his victory over Max Verstappen in Bahrain last week. And he now does it regularly with his activism and calls for a better world.

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Bharat Aggarwal

757 articles

Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. Bharat Aggarwal supports Manchester United, Lewis Hamilton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzki, Sachin Tendulkar, Ayrton Senna, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dallas Mavericks.

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