Lewis Hamilton does racewalk to honor his late brother and the ‘man in my life’

Lewis Hamilton and his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas have had much to enjoy over the last few months, with Mercedes cruising to their best ever championship race and Hamilton making no secret of his excitement over his upcoming wedding. Now Hamilton is poised to finally secure a record fifth Formula One World Championship at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, his celebrations are sure to be more lavish than usual.

But the American-born Hamilton will do so without his older brother Nicolas, who died of cancer six months ago. He knew the enormity of the task that lay in front of him but he told Times reporter David Hains — who published this piece on Hamilton’s life and love of the sport — that he wasn’t about to let it stop him reaching his goal.

Hamilton has taken on the role of matriarch of the Hamilton clan, currently including Nico, James, Nick and now Lewis, and has been one of the most popular faces of F1 the last four years. He was a healthy, fit man when doctors found that he had “soft spots” on his lung. “They were not good quality,” he said. “You can either have them or not, but they did so that I get enough oxygen and that helps me continue to fight.” His family has tried to withdraw the power of organ rejection completely by filtering his blood, but Hamilton’s girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger ensured they kept trying. “They are working so hard but the computer models keep giving me more and more pessimism,” Hamilton said. “They said to me if I didn’t continue to eat and exercise I wouldn’t have anything more.

“Nicole cooks, with help from my sister. She found some lemon slices in a video so she brought them to the house,” he said. His two children have embraced racing too. “Max is six,” Hamilton said. “He was watching last year’s race and he goes up and down the corner. On the other hand, my daughter, four-year-old Olivia, she can do the whole straightaway right or left. It’s so funny.”

Today was the eve of Hamilton’s performance at the Madison Square Garden show and Hamilton recently signed a brand deal with Nike, though he still plans to spend next season with Mercedes. When his wife Nicole told him of the chance to do a racewalk for the brand, he almost didn’t do it, admitting that doing the run reminded him of the anniversary of his brother’s death and worried that it was going to be tough to cope. “She said ‘Do it for your brother, don’t let him down,’” Hamilton recalled. He chose to make the run anyway. “But I hope I do it too slow. I have never done a trackwalk. I usually walk and look around. “It was just an opportunity to not get too sentimental,” he said. “I don’t think I would have done it, had I not had my family and my wife there.”

Read the full story at Times

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