Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says people are often “flabbergasted” at the level of intelligence seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton shows, adding there is “no chance” a driver could live their life partying and still become a successful Formula One driver in its current form.
F1 has moved on dramatically from the boozy, partying lifestyle from the past, with James Hunt summing up the time period perfectly with the motto: “Sex, breakfast of champions” sewn on his racing overalls in the 70s.
Drivers nowadays have strict diets, training and PR schedules to watch out for, but not just that, Wolff believes there now needs to be an added bonus of intelligence too.
At the age of 36, Hamilton sticks to a plant-based diet, often posts videos of his workouts on social media, which includes intense gym work and daily runs wherever he is around the world, often alongside his physio Angela Cullen.
But Wolff believes there’s another key quality about Hamilton that has helped him pick up seven-world championships and break multiple records in his time in the sport.
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“One works in go-karts now as a mechanic. He still loves his job, but I think he should have been Austria’s greatest driver. There was an unbelievable guy who used to beat Lewis but got into drugs.
“Today, to make it as a Formula One driver you can’t leave any blanks. It is not just about driving fast.
“You’ve got to be a little bit of a daredevil, but courage isn’t all. You need to be so much more complete, as driver, athlete, and personality.