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Sunday images from the 2018 F1 Spanish Grand Prix

F1: LH44 is heading home

Jul 062018

Lewis Hamilton is heading into his home race this weekend - the British Grand Prix – and is looking to make history. The Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport Team driver has the distinct honour of winning at Silverstone on five separate occasions.

In addition to that stat, Lewis has won this race four times in a row and, were he to win again this Sunday, he would become the most successful F1 driver in the history of the British GP. Ahead of the build-up this weekend's race, Lewis was interviewed for Beyond the Grid, the new official F1 podcast, and here are some extracts.

"Formula One has given me a life, given me a purpose, which is pretty special..."

How has Formula One changed you?

"Formula One has given me a life, given me a purpose, which is pretty special. But F1 has also broken me... it's broken me and built me, broken me and built me."

What do you mean by broken you?

"When you go through it, you put so much into it, it breaks your heart and kills you when you fail, when you stumble, when everyone's watching when you stumble. But, when you get back up and when you succeed it lifts you up. You fall and you break a bone, you heal and you keep going. That's what I mean by it."

The emotion of sport, I guess?

“Yeah it is. It's the passion for what you do and the will to succeed. It's just something that's hard to express but everyone has it in some shape or form."

"If you can learn to breathe and calm that squiggly oscillating line in emotion you can then focus a lot better."

Do you love those emotional highs and lows? The fact it is so unpredictable, or is that hindsight again?

"I don't know if I can say I love the highs and lows because the lows are the worst and I'm generally quite an emotional person. I'd say probably the best performers like Serena and Muhammad Ali are more calm; and the calmer you can get the better it can be for you. But, particularly at the beginning of my career, I was peaks up and down which is hard to keep focused. If you can learn to breathe and calm that squiggly oscillating line in emotion you can then focus a lot better. It's almost the same as if you are shooting at a target but you are moving around, if you can breathe and calm it down you will get it much more on target. I think Formula One has helped me grow and I have gained a lot more confidence within myself. What it has given me is the platform to be able to do things I want to do, live the life I could only have dreamed of. But, it's also given me the opportunity to work with big, huge teams of people, big companies, travel around the world, see different cultures, dibble and dabble in different lingos and try different foods."

Has your attitude to risk in the car as you get older, has that changed?

"No, definitely not. I would just say it has got better, my attitude to risk, in a sense it is more controlled, more calculated risk. I am able to calculate it more now, whereas when I was a kid it was just pure adrenaline and pure balls. Now, I have still got that, but I have also got the mental side. I am stronger in my mind than ever before so now I can control it. I guess it is almost like you can relate it to the movie with the force, he has the force within him but doesn't know how to utilise it. I have the force within me but now I can control it."

Final thing I wanted to explore with you is faith. You are so busy, it's non-stop, when do you fit in time for faith?

"Well, you have to make time for things and for example every morning I have breakfast and before I eat, I pray. Every time I eat, actually, I pray. So, whether it's a couple of seconds, a minute or whatever you are praying for, take that moment."