Don't rush to F1, says Hamilton's dad

Thu Jan 15, 2015 9:12pm EST
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By Alan Baldwin

LONDON (Reuters) - Every young racer wants to be the next Lewis Hamilton but most are in too much of a hurry to give themselves the best chance of success.

That is the considered view of Hamilton's father Anthony, who by his own admission did not know what he was getting into when the future double Formula One world champion was starting out but now has a pretty clear idea of what it takes.

"Part of the reason why I very rarely get involved with young drivers and their parents these days is because nobody wants to do what we did," the Briton told Reuters in an interview.

"Nobody wants to hang around. They all want instant gratification."

The trend in Formula One has been for ever younger entrants, with Red Bull's Toro Rosso team hiring Dutch racer Max Verstappen last year when he was still only 16 and in his first season in single-seaters.

Verstappen will make his race debut in Australia in March as a 17-year-old, and the youngest ever driver, but the governing FIA has now changed its super-license rules to ensure 18 is the minimum age in future.

Anthony Hamilton agreed with that move and urged youngsters to take their time.

"If you look at the motor racing scene nowadays, people are doing less than a year in a category and then think 'I’ve had enough of this one so now I’m going to jump two or three because I can afford it'," he said.   Continued...

Mercedes Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton (L) stands on the box next to his father Anthony during the qualifying session of the Brazilian F1 Grand Prix at Interlagos circuit in Sao Paulo November 8, 2014.  REUTERS/Nelson Almeida/Pool