Frequent flyer Hamilton moves on to another plane

Thu Mar 10, 2016 5:45am EST
 
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By Alan Baldwin

LONDON (Reuters) - Lewis Hamilton can become Britain's first four-times Formula One world champion this season, but some former racers fear the Mercedes driver's celebrity lifestyle could make the task harder.

The 31-year-old, who has risen from an under-privileged background to global superstardom, spends much of his down time in the United States with Hollywood and music A-listers.

From Super Bowl with Jay Z, to Hollywood parties and New York fashion shows, he is living a life that few of the current crop of drivers have access to or are up for.

German team mate Nico Rosberg, rival and championship runner-up for the past two seasons but winner of last year's final three races, is more likely to stay home with his wife and baby daughter.

Ferrari's four-times world champion Sebastian Vettel, a father of two who is likely to be Mercedes' biggest threat this year, lives in Switzerland where he keeps his family out of the public eye.

Both are fully focused on beating the Briton.

"It seems crazy to question whether Lewis can win another title, given that he's won the last two," former racer turned television pundit David Coulthard told British reporters.

"But you have to ask where his energy is going...There is no question that Lewis is fit and focused when he's at the racetrack. But he does have a full-on social life away from grand prix racing.   Continued...

 
Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton attends the Stella McCartney Fall/Winter 2016/2017 women's ready-to-wear collection show in Paris, France, March 7, 2016. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier