Lewis Hamilton has fans all around the world, in many walks of life, and of all ages – as he proved this week as he dropped in on 105-year-old Len via online conferencing software.
Hamilton spoke to Len and his son David before the Turkish Grand Prix ahead of Len’s birthday, and Mercedes has just released a video of how it went.
“I’ve heard you’ve got a birthday coming up, is that right?” Hamilton asks at the top of the call, to which David replies: “Yes, dad’s going to be 105 in a couple of weeks”
Here’s the video of the meeting between Lewis and Len released by Mercedes:
“Wow, 105 – and he looks great! He looks so good!” replied Hamilton.
It means that Len was already 33 years old when the first-ever Formula 1 race took place at Silverstone in 1950, in which Nino Farina led a Alfa Romeo 1-2-3 across the line in the inaugural FIA British Grand Prix.
And Len had turned 90 by the time a certain Lewis Hamilton arrived on the F1 grid for the first race of the 2007 season at the tender age of 22.
Now 36 and with seven world championships to his name, Hamilton was delighted to meet Len online – and the feeling was entirely mutual.
“We’re so excited that you took your time to come and speak to us,” said David, to which Lewis responded: “I am so happy to speak to you.”
As they talked, Hamilton opened up about his own past and his rise to fame from humble beginnings in the south of England to global superstardom today.
“I grew up in a normal town. I know that I couldn’t have got here on my own,” he said. “My parents, and everything they sacrificed.
“Now I have this huge group of people behind me who are not in the limelight, they’re not all at the track,” he continued.
“For me it’s important for them to know that I know that I couldn’t have had this result if it wasn’t for them.”
David thanked Lewis for the consideration and appreciation that he’s always shown his supports whom he calls ‘Team LH’. Len then wished the driver good luck in the future and in his current close battle with Max Verstappen for this year’s title.
Hamilton wishes the centenarian a happy birthday and signed off saying: “I will be thinking of you in the future, I hope you have a very good future.”
Hamilton is currently six points behind Verstappen in the drivers championship after finishing fifth in Turkey following a ten place grid penalty for taking a new engine. Verstappen was second on Sunday.
Mercedes continue to lead in the constructors standing with a 36 point lead over Red Bull with five races remaining in this year’s championship.
The next race is the United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, where Hamilton has previously won six times – more than any other driver.
But whether he can win again this time and retake the lead in the 2021 title battle remains to be seen.
Source: Formula 1 – F1I