As part of Vodafone’s rather wonderful VIP karting experience, Badger got to sit down and have a chat with the 2008 World Champion to see how he’s doing, if there’s a down-side to be ‘being’ Lewis Hamilton and his thoughts on the forthcoming climax to an amazing 2010 F1 season…
They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, you’ve got a couple of important races coming up, so what does Lewis Hamilton have for breakfast?
Yeah they do say it’s most important meal of the day, not sure I agree with that – I’m not a nutritionist, but I think every meal of the day is important. For breaksfast I like porridge. If I could, my ideal would be a bacon sandwich on a Sunday to sit down and watch the racing – but I haven’t had one of those in at least three years, it’s the worse thing!
So, What do you eat?
I’m not on strict diet, I’m only allowed 5ounces of chicken for dinner, while everyone else is having like the most amazing meals, but you’re always trying to cut the weight of the car and the car’s heavy this year so they start looking to me to lose weight but I haven’t got anything more to lose. And Jenson, he’s a kilo and half more than me, but he’s as skinny as he can be, he’s just taller.
Generally have porridge or cereal or nutrition shake – eat five times a day, snacking in between meals, banana – fish and rice/veg dinner or similar light dinner – you know I really miss roast dinners, can’t wait to have one of those…
How hungry are you to win the next two races and do you think you can you win the title?
The world championship is still open, I’m 21 points behind, but Mark Webber lost 18 points to me in the last race, so it just shows that’s it’s still possible with two races to go. I was in the title fight with a 17 point lead with 2 races to go and lost it… and that’s more than the gap is this year (with the new points)
We’ve got to make sure we do all we can, weve had some tough races, could be better but its not – two races to go with 50 points up for grabs.
So would you say the pressure is now on Alonso?
He’s an ex-double World Champion, so he has the experience. Sure, he’s under pressure, but he’s been there before and can handle it, he’ll be wondering like the rest of us – will his car be reliable, be the fastest – we don’t know – you just have to hope your car will see you to the end and that your car is quick on the day. It’s all so unknown at the moment. We don’t have the fastest car – fact – but we have the most determined, ambitious team of guys.
If you do go on to win the 2010 title, will it mean more than your 2008 win?
No I don’t think so. Every championship is brilliant. I nearly won in my first year which I’m proud of – winning in my second season was great. I couldn’t have done it in a better way, last corner of the last lap: amazing.
Out of all the drivers, who do enjoy racing the most?
Probably Fernando. Just because of our history – two time World Champion, I raced him when I was rookie, it was great racing him – he’s one the toughest I’ve competed against. I’ve not had the chance to have too many battles with him this year. I really wanted to have a dice with Michael, and with Jenson, I’ve been dying to have a proper battle with him, but it always works out that one weekend he’s up on me and the next I’m up on him – we’re rarely at the same position!
Where would you say is womens place in F1 – will there be a female driver, world champ?
Definitely possible, absolutely. There are a couple doing well in the states, Danica Patrick for example has proven that its possible – the thing is that a lot less girls interested, not growing up with cars, playing with steering wheels in the bath – they’re less interested in it, but I’m sure at some point there will be…
What do you do off season? Disneyland?
Haha, I’ve done all of them.
I’ll be training and doing load of events and working towards 2011. We’d love to more testing, we just don’t get any these days – the simulator isn’t as much fun. When I first started we’d have 16 days in the car before the season, now have 4 – it takes away the excitement. But 2011 should be exciting with KERS coming back and what have you.
If you could drive in any era besides now, which would you choose?
I would chose the late 80s early 90s – Senna and Prost. I love the old ’88 car, it must have been so cool then. If you were to ask Ayrton Senna now he’d say the same thing about our cars…
Thoughts on Brazil and Abu Dhabi?
The car is not so good on high down-force tracks, it’s better on low down-force once such as Spa and Valencia – the next two tracks are lower down-force so I’m expecting to be competitive – it should be good in Brazil.
Last year I was leading in Abu Dhabi and the car stopped so this year we’ll have another good go. I feel really good, been training at home, practicing both tracks, feeling very positive and I hope the the new developments work.
How do you prepare mentally?
I prepare the same way as ever. I’m going to be out there on Tuesday (2nd Nov) morning, I’ll be eating, sleeping, adjusting – I’m already in gear for it, ready to go in the car now. After the last race I’m positive for Brazil and after having talks with the engineers, I’m very positive.
You’re an F1 driver, on top of your game, is there a downside to your life right now?
Being an ex-World champion, that’s the worst thing – I hate the ‘ex’ bit.
You can read more about Lewis Hamilton giving Badger’s Jimmy Weeks a go-karting masterclass here
For more details on Vodafone VIP – see the website here.
To get a better idea of just big this event was, see the video below – some 180 lucky Vodafone customers all dressed up in their racing gear and one of the lucky winners asked:
“If you were having a dinner party, which celebrities, past/present would you invite?”