F1: Anthony Hamilton says ”no rush to F1”

Lewis Hamilton's father explains how the "instant gratification" research can ruin some talents.

Young racers want to be the next Lewis Hamilton but more are in a hurry to get the success.

"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," Anthony Hamilton told Reuters. "Nobody wants to hang around. They all want instant gratification."

The trend in F1 is for younger entrants, like Toro Rosso hiring Max Verstappen at the age of 16. The young driver will make his debut in Australia in March, at 17 years old, the youngest ever in Formula 1.

Anthony Hamilton urges youngsters and their family 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'.

"And the next thing you know they are sitting in a Formula One car. Or expect to be sitting in one. Well, look, the educational process hasn't changed. I think there's a lot of talent out there. The trouble is, the talent doesn't want to wait. They all want it now," he said.

F1 Anthony Hamilton Mercedes Lewis
Anthony Hamilton celebrating Lewis' success. (Photo: WRi2)

Even Lewis Hamilton was signed to the McLaren-Mercedes driver development programme when he was in go-karts, the focus was on getting as much experience as possible rather than rushing through the series.

After his go-karts years, and before his Formula 1 debut with McLaren, Lewis Hamilton had two seasons in Formula Renault, the same in Formula 3 and one year in GP2.

"By the time (Lewis) arrived in Formula 1, he'd got so much experience and appreciation. But he could not have done it without karting. He could not have done it without taking his time and going through the educational process," said Anthony Hamilton.

Lewis Hamilton's father admits there was a time when he also had unrealistic expectations, but McLaren taught him the important lesson that sometimes there is more to gain by being patient.

"I have become wiser and smarter given the process we've been through. And what I try to say to parents is that you've got to just believe. Stay the course and just believe," underlined Hamilton Sr who has had hard time to figure out how to pay the bills for Lewis at the beginning.

"If you believe your kid is going to make it then just stay with it. But they just can't keep their mind off the fact that Johnny next door who was in karts with them, and who they beat two years running, is now driving cars and is two years in front of them.

"I say forget that nonsense, don't worry about it. He might be driving cars but he's not getting the micro-skills and experience he needs... stay in karts as long as you possibly can," Anthony Hamilton added.



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