Lewis Hamilton is one of the most successful Formula One drivers of all-time. The Englishman has also become one of the world’s most recognisable and famous sports stars.
Hamilton began his Formula One career with McLaren in 2007, after excelling in junior categories in his youth. He almost won the world championship in his first season, missing out by just one point!
Now regarded as a mega talent, Hamilton became world champion for the first time in 2008, with a thrilling last-lap pass in Brazil. The success elevated Hamilton to super-stardom, and after six years with McLaren, he moved to Mercedes in 2013.
After further world championship wins in 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2018, Lewis Hamilton is now a five-times Formula One world champion. Only Michael Schumacher is more successful, with seven titles.
At the start of the 2019 season, Hamilton has won 73 Formula One Grand Prix, and taken a record-breaking 83 pole positions.
He is believed to be worth around £220m and flies between races on his private jet.
Hamilton also enjoys a huge global following, with millions of followers on Twitter and Instagram, and his interests include music and fashion.
2019 new regulations
For the 2019 F1 season, Hamilton, like all the drivers, will be subject to new weight regulations.
Previously the total weight of a Formula One included the driver. This meant drivers had to weigh as little as possible so that their teams could optimise the weight of the car in order to find more speed.
But now the car and driver will be weighed separately. This removes pressure on the driver to be as light as possible, although of course, no driver will want to be overweight, as that would reduce their speed.
To ensure drivers don’t put their health at risk, they must weigh more than 80kgs. Hamilton, as one of the taller drivers, should benefit from this rule change.
Hamilton is one of many drivers whose natural weight is heavier than his current weight. This has been in order to best meet the past regulations.
So Hamilton can put on weight now without compromising the weight of the car. Winner! But more importantly, Hamilton can focus that extra weight gain as muscle. This will allow him to provide more power when driving the car, and to better handle the huge G-forces.
Hamilton’s Training Routine
Hamilton is fully aware of the need to be in tip-top shape. The five-time champion is regarded as one of the fittest drivers in Formula One.
The fitter he is, and the sharper his mind, the better equipped he is to handle the unique demands of being a Formula One racing driver.
A fitter driver is able to make quicker, and more considered, split-second reactions, which can be the difference between victory and defeat.
It also means they are able to handle the enormous G-forces produced by the car during races which can last up to two hours. Formula One drivers share many physical and mental traits with pilots in the RAF!
Since 2011, Hamilton’s training regime has been overseen by former Finnish hammer thrower Antti Vierula.
This includes long-distance running and shorter sprints, plus intense weight and cardio sessions in the gym.
Hamilton also uses medicine and reaction balls to ensure his reaction times remain as sharp as possible.
Ayrton Senna was the first driver to really take driver fitness seriously in the 1980s. Michael Schumacher then took fitness to new levels in the 1990s, with Hamilton one of the fitness forbearers of the sport today.
The Hamilton Diet
With the new weight rules in place for 2019, every driver will be altering their dietary regimes.
For Hamilton, this means he doesn’t need to focus so much on losing weight. He can alter his diet and training regime to gain muscle.
Hamilton turned vegan towards the end of 2017, and has changed his diet accordingly. Hamilton’s day begins at breakfast usually with either vegan pancakes or baked beans on toast.
Lunch includes vegan burgers, or orzo pasta with green beans, sun-dried tomatoes, alongside hummus and raw vegetables.
Some of Hamilton’s other favoured vegan meals include a slow-cooked courgette with toasted pine nuts and salad, raisins and orange peel.
But one thing Hamilton can no longer have is his beloved Nutella, although fortunately, vegan variations are now readily available.
Avocados, sweet potatoes, berries, lentils and chickpeas are other vegan favourites.
Now one of the most experienced drivers in Formula One, Lewis Hamilton has got his pre-race preparation down to a fine art. The hours before a Grand Prix are vitally important to a driver.
Drivers must be fully focused before a race. The opening few seconds of a Grand Prix can change everything, and the chances of making a mistake are higher than at any other point in the race.
Before a race, Hamilton will arrive at the circuit in the morning, and discuss the race, the car and tactics with his team and engineers.
Hamilton will also conduct any pre-race media duties which have been agreed by his Mercedes team and enjoy a vegan lunch.
Drivers usually take their cars out onto the track about 40 minutes before the race starts for reconnaissance laps. This is to ensure the car has no problems.
After a couple of laps, Hamilton will drive his car onto the grid, park up at his grid spot and get out. The grid will be packed full of engineers, team personnel, media and celebrities by this stage.
Hamilton, like many of the drivers, often spends this time by the side of the track, listening to music and getting himself mentally prepared for the race.
For the remaining 25-30 minutes before the race begins, Hamilton will also complete any further debriefs with his team regarding the car and race strategy.
All drivers must attend the national anthem before the race begins, while Hamilton may give a couple of quick interviews before getting back into the car.
Now back in the car, Hamilton waits for the formation lap to begin. He will spend the formation lap trying to get the tyres and brakes as hot a possible for optimum performance.
When he returns to the grid, he’ll park his car back at his grid spot, engage the clutch, prepare for the lights to go out and the race to begin!