WATCH: Lewis Hamilton’s PR Stunt at McLaren F1 Which Causes Him Great Shame Today

Published 01/02/2022, 11:51 AM EST


F1 drivers are contractually obligated to take part in various PR exercises for the team sponsors. It is certainly not an enjoyable part of their jobs but they are mostly a harmless affair for them. However, it turned out to be a fiasco for F1 legend Lewis Hamilton back in 2008. He was a Mclaren driver back then competing in his second F1 season.

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Hamilton took part in one of the PR exercises for Vodafone, the title sponsor for Mclaren at the time. Ahead of the 2008 Turkish Grand Prix, the young sensation played a part in a stage show depicting the Greek battle of Troy. Dressed in his McLaren race suit, Lewis donned a harness and descended from the ceiling, supposedly playing the part of Greek god Apollo, before rising back to the ceiling.

Though it served the purpose to the sponsor, Hamilton’s image surely took a hit. The media and fans ridiculed the cringe-worthy stunt; Hamilton himself agreed to that sentiment.

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SAO PAULO, BRAZIL – OCTOBER 18: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and McLaren Mercedes appears at the drivers press conference during previews prior to the Brazilian Formula One Grand Prix at the Autodromo Interlagos on October 18, 2007 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

That really was not cool: Lewis Hamilton

The Briton had an impressive 2007 F1 season with the Mclaren team. He smashed almost every record as a rookie that was in his sight and finished a close second to Kimi Raikkonen in the drivers’ standings. Ahead of the 2008 Turkish GP, he was leading the pack with two wins under his helmet.

However, the disappointment in the face of that PR stunt surely did not help Hamilton’s image. “In the pantheon of ridiculous publicity stunts, it may rate among the greatest. Dressed in his logoed race driving suit, he looked less like a majestic Apollo than a cross between Peter Pan and an astronaut,” wrote the Times in their column, as reported by Autosport.

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Lewis Hamilton was surely not happy with how that show played out in the end. He regrets the decision to take part in it. “I thought that really was not cool,” said Hamilton.

“I just turned up and got on with what I’ve been told to do. Now I’ve seen the footage, and it’s one of the worst things I’ve ever seen. At the end of the day, I have a cool image, and things like that don’t help.” added the Briton.

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Hamilton was a 22-year-old driver back then having recently been exposed to the big leagues. The stage show did not help him grow his persona but the 7 titles that followed surely did. After the recent disappointment in the 2021 F1 final, fans expect him to come roaring back in 2022.

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Rituraj Tripathi

254 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.

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