Hamilton opens up on plans to remain in F1 ahead of new season
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Lewis Hamilton may be a seven-time F1 world champion, but things may have turned out very differently if the 38-year-old got what he wanted. Rewind the clock 30 years and Hamilton’s dream was more Barry Sheene than Ayrton Senna.
However, his fate was changed when dad Anthony purchased a go-kart after the pair had enjoyed racing remote control cars. Speaking back in 2015, Hamilton commented: “When I was a kid I wanted to race motorbikes. When my dad bought me my first go-kart I actually wanted a motorbike.
“I’m not disappointed how things have turned out but bikes were my first love I suppose. I’d also love to test a MotoGP bike just to see what it’s like. Naturally I’d know the lines but I’d love to know if I could even do it.”
Hamilton wouldn’t know at the time but his dream would come true just four years later. The Briton had already ridden a Yamaha R1 with World Superbike star Alex Lowes back in 2018.
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However, his MotoGP wish was granted a year later as Hamilton and Valentino Rossi swapped machines in a special collaboration for Monster Energy at Valencia. The experience was supposed to be a promotional event although Hamilton and Rossi’s excitement could not be contained.
Hamilton eventually lapped the circuit just four seconds slower than Rossi while the Italian biking star was 1.5 seconds off Hamilton’s best run in a 2017 Mercedes W08. Speaking after the switch, Hamilton said: “Honestly this has been the best year and this has just topped off.
“The bike is so hard to ride. I had one little spin with it but otherwise brought it back in one piece. I was just step by step learning, but it’s a very steep learning curve.” Yamaha MotoGP boss Massimo Meregalli even admitted the team had to restrain the Mercedes star from jumping on the bike too soon due to his passion.
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Meregalli later told Autosport: ”He [Hamilton] showed up to the circuit very early and we had to stop him because he wanted to get on the bike at 9am, but it was cold.
“Then we had to change all the programme, because Vale arrived a little late and they wanted Lewis to get on the track as soon as possible, but we told him that in Valencia in December before 11am was not possible.”
After achieving one dream, could Hamilton add another to his roster before hanging up his motorsport helmet? If so, a trip to the States to compete in stock car racing may not be off the cards.
Hamilton has previously said: “I’d really like to do a NASCAR race one day.” Kimi Raikkonen and Juan Pablo Montoya are among the well-known stars who have fared well in the American series after ditching F1.
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