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Lewis Hamilton and his brother Nicolas Hamilton have faced many adversities in their lives. The 7-time champion has repeatedly said how difficult the journey to the top has been owing to his black background. While Nicolas might have faced similar issues too, his disability, a form of Cerebral Palsy was a bigger issue to deal with. But he conquered that too to emerge as a successful racer. However, he now reveals how a gambling addiction had threatened to steal everything he had, including an extravagant gift from Lewis.

On his 24th birthday, Nicolas received a Mercedes C63 from his older brother, who was 3 years into driving for Mercedes. As of today, that car costs over $80000 (as per Mercedes’ website). That same year, in 2016, the British racer who drove in the Touring Car championship had developed a severe gambling addiction, that began with a mere 2-pound bet.

“I won (the 2-pound soccer bet) and then I went home and I delved deeper,” Nicolas told the Times, “I wanted more of the winnings — and the losing didn’t really deter me. It just got me in a cycle. I couldn’t stop thinking about it — I just wanted to go back to my computer. The whole day would go quite easily. I could see it was a problem but I was too far in. I was scared to stop.”

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He says that eventually, the addiction ascended to thousands of pounds being lost via bets. As a result of the endless guilt-dopamine loop, he had to sell the prized gift from his brother to cover his tax liabilities.

“I’d lost so much money that I felt like, if I stopped, I was in a hole that I wouldn’t get out of,” Nicolas said about his addiction. Then the final blow came. In 2017, he received a mega tax bill. And since he was not good with finances then, the only way out for him was to sell the gift from Lewis.

I felt so ashamed, using this amazing gift (from Lewis) to pay my tax bill. It felt like I had practically stolen the money from my brother and I have never forgiven myself for that,” he writes in his book, ‘Now That I Have Your Attention’, according to The Times.

It is heartbreaking to hear this story. But it is only a small part of Nicolas’ journey that shaped him to be the inspiration that he is today.

Written by

Yash Kotak

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Yash is an F1 writer at EssentiallySports. With a strong passion for communicating through written word and a keen interest in the world of motorsports, he thoroughly enjoys being a fan of F1 and covering it for other fans. Ever since he watched the 'INSIDE TRACKS' episode covering the 2018 German Grand Prix, he has fallen in love with the intriguingly complex world of F1.
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Edited by

Harshita