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Hamilton: Realities of F1 dangers are still "shocking"

Hamilton: Realities of F1 dangers are still "shocking"

Lewis Hamilton says dealing with the realities of motor racing's dangers after Anthoine Hubert was killed last month was something that hit him in the 'depths' of his soul

With the Formula 1 paddock having been left upset by the death of F2 race-winner Hubert in a crash in Belgium last month, Hamilton was one of many who took to social media at the time to express his feelings.

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And while Hamilton is no stranger to such tragic events, having raced in Japan in 2014 when Jules Bianchi suffered the injuries that would later kill him, and been in a kart race in 1994 when rival Daniel Spence died, he says such situations remain tough.

"That's why I posted the things [on social media], because it's not impossible," said Hamilton, speaking to selected media including "I've experienced that [before].

"Obviously we had that in Japan, we had that experience, but then I had another 11-year-old die on the race weekend, when I was racing as a kid. So I'd experienced it before. And for a driver it really hits you hard.

"I don't know how it was for the other drivers, but for me, 'woah', it hit me in the depths of my soul. It was really hard. For the rest of that day and then the evening, I couldn't go to sleep, I just couldn't believe what had happened that day.

"I guess your mind is just working overtime, trying to get used to the reality of what has happened. And also to the fact that, look, we lost Charlie [Whiting] this year and Formula 1 just continues on, we lost Niki [Lauda] and the world just goes on. It's sad, I think, that that's how life is."

In Hamilton's social media posts after Hubert's death, he expressed some frustration that many people did not appreciate the risks that drivers take.

Asked to elaborate on those views, he said: "I think that's just in general in the world.

"I think you go to a sporting event, which is such a great great event, but people turn up for the fun weekend. Some of them may not have even contemplated the fact that it's a dangerous sport, these guys could have an incident like that - because it doesn't happen so often.

"Back in the day, when it was happening all the time, it was 'ah, these guys are superheroes, it happens all the time, he dodged death!'. But whilst we are in a safer period of time in the sport, it is still there, still a potential possibility.

"I think just in life, as humans, I think we take lots of things for granted. All of us do. Even I do. It's just the way we are tuned.

"I arrive to my engineers and it's just a part of our weekend. We go through our cycle, I get in and I come out tired, it's just the norm. And if I get in, I crash, and I get hurt, it's 'oh my god'. All of a sudden it's a shock. I'm conscious of when I get in, that my days are numbered, you know?"


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About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Lewis Hamilton
Teams Mercedes
Author Jonathan Noble