Lewis Hamilton was a proud spectator as younger half-brother Nicolas made his motor racing debut in a junior saloon car series at Brands Hatch at the weekend.
The 19-year-old rookie, who has had to overcome cerebral palsy to make his way to the starting grid, finished last on the track in both his Renault Clio Cup races over the weekend but with competitive lap times.
“Today was only my seventh time in the car and I was less than a second off the fastest driver,” he told reporters after being classified 15th of the 17 starters in Sunday’s race. He was 12th on Saturday.
“If you took someone off the street and put them in my shoes they’d be hard pressed to do a better job,” he said.
McLaren’s 2008 Formula One world champion Lewis was determined not to miss out and flew back from Malaysia, a round trip of some 21,000km, where he is preparing for this weekend’s second Grand Prix of the season.
“I can’t imagine how proud my dad is, but I am just incredibly proud. I was just smiling the whole way through the race,” the Formula One driver said.
Father Anthony Hamilton, who manages Scottish rookie Paul di Resta in Formula One, had flown back to Britain after the season-opening Australian Grand Prix to be at the race.
Nicolas said just being on the track was a great achievement.
“When I’m in the car it’s just me. I’m on my own and I have to get on with it,” he said. “At the moment I’m not worried about position as I’m racing against people with far more experience than me.”
“The car’s in one piece, I didn’t make a fool of myself, I’m glad people understand that I’m a novice. My mountain is steep, but to go from 4.5 seconds [in testing] to 0.9 seconds off the pace [in the race] is pretty good,” he said.
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