Hamilton: Balancing Parental Involvement in F1 Driver Careers is a Delicate Balance

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Hamilton: Parental involvement in F1 driver career is “thin line to walk”

Lewis Hamilton addressed the media ahead of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, weighing in on recent comments made by Max Verstappen’s father, Jos Verstappen, regarding the ongoing controversy surrounding Red Bull team principal Christian Horner.

Following the Bahrain Grand Prix, Verstappen Sr. expressed concerns about the potential fallout if Horner continued to lead the team amid internal investigations into allegations from a female colleague.

When informed of Verstappen Sr.’s remarks, Hamilton admitted he hadn’t been aware of them but conveyed his belief that such commentary wasn’t appropriate.

“I don’t know the details,” Hamilton stated. “So I don’t know what he’s basing these foundations off. But at the end of the day, he’s not a part of the team, he’s a parent. And so that’s just an opinion, but it’s definitely not helpful.”

Anthony Hamilton
Anthony Hamilton (Credits: Autosport)

Hamilton’s own career was initially guided by his father, Anthony, who was a constant presence at races and in the pit garage. However, their professional relationship strained their personal dynamic, leading them to part ways, with Hamilton seeking guidance from professional managers.

Reflecting on the challenges of having a parent closely involved in a driver’s career, Hamilton emphasized the delicate balance required.

“I think it is a very thin line to walk,” he remarked. “I think it’s also dependent on your relationship with your parent. You meet some people who have a great relationship with their parents, and they’ve been amazing parents, and then you’ve got people that have had bad relationships. And this is not necessarily parents that have been good to them.”

Acknowledging Max Verstappen’s status as a mature champion capable of making his own decisions, Hamilton cautioned against the influence of external voices in the world of professional sports, drawing from his own experiences and observations.

“But I think in our world, as drivers, it’s very, very easy to be misled by people whispering in your ear, and perhaps not guiding you always the right way,” he explained.

“I’m not saying it’s the case there, because they’re doing great. But I know in sports, other athletes that I’ve spoken to that I see, whether it’s in tennis, and I’ve experienced it, when you sometimes don’t have the right guidance around you, it leads to you either making the wrong decisions, or not being able to perhaps be the best at what you do.”

Hamilton’s sentiments were echoed by Kevin Magnussen, who, like Verstappen, is the son of a former F1 driver. Magnussen emphasized his desire for autonomy in his career, expressing gratitude for his father’s support while maintaining independence in decision-making.

“I think very early on my career I’ve made it very clear to my dad that I didn’t want his influence,” Magnussen stated. “I think he had to adjust to that, but I was very, very clear that I wanted this to be my journey, my project. He had his own career, so he should focus on that.”

Magnussen highlighted the importance of establishing boundaries between familial support and professional independence, a sentiment echoed by many athletes navigating the complexities of parental involvement in their careers.


By Park-Shin Jung

I am Park-Shin Jung. I am a professional content writer for cars.

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