Lewis Hamilton: "Potential F1 drivers get leapfrogged by rich kids"
Lewis Hamilton has always been vocal about his working class family background and his rags to riches story in Formula One. The Mercedes driver was brutally honest on his recent appearance on the Graham Norton show about F1's lack of working class families and kids in the sport.
He says now it has become much harder for drivers from working class backgrounds such as his to break into Formula 1.
“My dad spent something like £20,000 and remortgaged the house several times in the first years,” said Hamilton. “But today it’s just got so expensive.
“There are very few, if [any] working-class families on their way up. It’s all wealthy families.
“I’ve got a friend of mine who was nearly in Formula 1 and then he got leapfrogged by a wealthy kid and then his opportunity was gone,” Hamilton added. “So I do want to somehow get it back to basics.”
He later added that had he not been signed by Ron Dennis at the age of 13 he would probably be doing something very different.
“There were times along the way when I’d come home from school and I’m like ‘I’m ready to go’ and [dad would] be like ‘sorry, we don’t have the money this weekend but hopefully by next race we’ll have the money to keep us going’. So my dad’s the real hero, I’m just the one that’s in the spotlight.
“If my dad hadn’t done the work he did and if I didn’t get signed when I was 13 by Ron Dennis then I wouldn’t be sitting in front of you today, I’d be doing something different.”
We've quequed up his interview below: