Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton was pinned as a prodigious talent from a very young age, perhaps owing to his success during his karting days.
Having started karting at the age of 8, he won the British karting championship (cadet class) and STP Karting championship 2 years later.
At the time, he struck a friendship with Nico Rosberg, and the duo would later go on to partner up at Mercedes years later.
Nico derived much of his skill through the tutelage of his father Keke Rosberg, who won the F1 world championship in 1982.
Hamilton was tutored by his father Anthony, who may not have been an F1 driver himself, but still offered Lewis plenty of valuable advice growing up.
However, Lewis took a cheeky pop at his father while narrating a story to Jeremy Clarkson from Top Gear.
“I have a good story actually about handbrake turns,” Hamilton said.
“Years ago, I was at a karting race in Italy with Nico as my teammate. Actually, so it’s 2000 and me, my dad, and Keke Rosberg were on the way to the track.
“My dad was driving down this country lane which off the edge of the road drops down into a field and it’s like a meter drop.
“Keke all of a sudden just pulls the handbrake while my dad’s driving, and my dad doesn’t really know how to drive that well.
“He thinks he’s a great driver, but you know, he’s not.
“He lost the back end of the car and put it down into the ditch and we had to leave it there and walk to the track.”
Hamilton may well have fallen out with Rosberg during his professional career, but he has enjoyed a decent relationship with George Russell so far.
A difficult campaign for Mercedes ended with Hamilton failing to win a single race all season for the first time in his career.
Perhaps even more alarmingly, the younger Russell ended the campaign ahead of Hamilton in the drivers’ standings.
Despite being at loggerheads with Hamilton during his last season in F1 where he won the world championship, Rosberg still paid a rich compliment to Hamilton on the back of the 2022 season, claiming that he was still very much at the peak of his abilities.
“We all know Lewis had a bit of an unlucky, scruffy season where the car was not going well and they were experimenting a lot so that kind of mixes things up a little bit,” Rosberg said.
Regarding Russell’s quick acclimatisation to life at the Silver Arrows, Rosberg was effusive in his praise.
“Lewis is still at his best so to beat him over a season is so tough, but it will be so great to watch because those guys are so closely matched,” he said.
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