Anthony Hamilton says Lewis came “very close” to losing focus at 15

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Lewis Hamilton’s father Anthony says it wasn’t all smooth sailing in his early career. According to Anthony, Lewis came “very close” to losing focus at age 15.

Anthony Hamilton has steered Lewis’ career in his early years. Not coming from a wealthy background, the elder Hamilton sacrificed a lot to allow Lewis to pursue his passion for racing.

When asked by Channel 4 if there ever was a time when his son lost focus, Anthony explained it almost happened at age 15.

“It did get very close when he was 15, very close,” Anthony said.

“He wanted to get involved with his friends and do other things, but I said to him at the time ‘you’re potentially on the verge of greatness’ because we were leading what was then the World Karting Championship in Europe and it was critical for us to win that Championship because we were being sponsored by Ron [Dennis] and Mercedes-Benz.

“That was almost like the man from Camelot coming over and going ‘here’s your golden ticket’.

“We had to work hard, keep on the straight and narrow, do everything honestly to achieve the objective, which was to sit in that McLaren car.”

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Anthony also revealed how Lewis’ passion for racing started.

“Lewis kept bugging me with a remote control car. I wanted to sit and watch horse racing on a weekend but instead it was ‘dad, dad, the batteries have run out’.

“So that’s when we started and said we’re going to dedicate Saturday and Sunday, that’s the time you and I are going to do whatever it takes, and Lewis chose karting.

“So every Saturday, Sunday, that’s what we did from him being six, seven years of age. When we started karting 30 years ago, it was all just about working hard to achieve a dream.

“It’s just incredible how this dream has come to full fruition.”

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