“I Thought My Life Was Over” – Here is How Lewis Hamilton’s F1 Career Nearly Ended Before It Even Began

Published 12/21/2021, 9:42 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – December 11, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton after qualifying in second position Pool via REUTERS/Kamran Jebreili


F1 legend Lewis Hamilton was recently knighted by Charles, Prince of Wales, for his exceptional achievements in motorsports. The Mercedes driver holds the record for winning most Grand Prix and joint-most world championships. However, he recalls an incident when his career nearly ended before it had even begun.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

His Karting career began in 1993 and he won 6 different championships between 1995 and 2000. However, an appalling incident in 2001 left him hopeless about his future in racing.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Lewis Hamilton thought his racing career was over

Hamilton was months away from taking up his GCSEs when the incident happened. Notably, his tremendous success at the junior level earned him the backing of F1 giant Mclaren at the time. However, the racing journey wasn’t a piece of cake for the young Briton. A horrific incident took place in the catholic school which left a 15-year-old pupil suffering two fractured fingers, bruising, and an injured arm.

“As a teenager, sadly my enthusiasm was not shared by all and my career nearly ended before it had started because of a case of mistaken identity by my school,” said the Briton.

Initially, six boys were recognized and expelled for the incident, Lewis wasn’t one of them. However, days later, he got pulled out of the class and expelled from the school. Hamilton insisted he was innocent and was being framed wrongly.

“This was not true, I, like many others, had been hanging around waiting for the next lesson to start and had entered the toilets around the time the attack was taking place,” said Hamilton in his autobiography.

“I was not involved in the attack but knew the boys taking place,” he added.

Anthony Hamilton backed him

Lewis recently fell victim to an unlucky last lap debacle in Abu Dhabi and the first person to console him was his father Anthony. Lewis Hamilton credits his success to the efforts and backing of his father through thick and thin. Like always, his father stood behind him during that school incident as well. When his headteacher told him that they expelled him, he froze at the moment.

“I couldn’t answer, I was 15-year-old just trying to be polite. I guess, again I thought my life was over.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

He wrote letters to the local education authority, their MP, and even the Prime Minister. The local education authority considered the matter and had a hearing for the same. They found it to be a case of false expulsion and reinstated the young Brit. However, Hamilton says that he didn’t go back to that school as the system terribly failed him.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

He made his F1 debut six years later in 2007 for the Surrey-based outfit. He won the first F1 title in the 2008 F1 season and six more followed. The young kid once bullied in school later became one of the greatest F1 drivers ever.

DIVE DEEPER

Report: Christian Horner Left the Entire Mercedes F1 Staff Open-Mouthed After the Abu Dhabi GP

about 1 month ago

Enjoyed reading this article? Download our exclusive app to get 24x7 coverage, latest memes and social media banter. Click here to download.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Rituraj Tripathi

284 articles

Rituraj Tripathi is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. A true lover of speed, he is big fan of Lewis Hamilton and finds a future world champion in Lando Norris. Rituraj eagerly looks forward to the paddock moving to the Circuit de Monaco, and he finds Portier corner as the most exciting part of the track.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT