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Motorsport: Lewis Hamilton's life in the fast lame
By Charlie Eccleshare • 27/03/2016
Hamilton should focus on driving not his party lifestyle
Lewis Hamilton eh? What will he get up to next? Last week, Hamilton made headlines for all the wrong reasons once again as he caused a stir by taking a selfie while riding a motorcycle in New Zealand.
This follows previous misdemeanours including having his driving licence suspended for speeding in 2007 and last November colliding with three parked cars while driving in Monaco.
All this controversy has led F1 luminaries such as David Coulthard and Sir Jackie Stewart to advise Hamilton to focus more on his day job and less on his party lifestyle.
Coulthard and Stewart are right that Hamilton needs to show more focus, and I wouldn't wish to undermine the seriousness of his law-breaking activities.
But let's get something straight: Hamilton is not the 'party boy' he thinks he is.
To me, he is instead living proof that you can have all the sporting success, the looks, the fame, the most expensive clothes and cars, the beautiful celebrity girlfriend and yet still be fundamentally lame.
He's like Ben Stiller in that episode of Extras, listing the women he's kissed in films and bewildered it doesn't make people think he's cool.
Consider Hamilton's own description of his 'party' lifestyle from November 2015. "Until last year, I didn't really drink a lot. It's changed a lot this year," he said.
"You would be really proud if you knew how much I consumed.
"The next couple of months is party time. I've got my mum's 60th coming up, I've got friends' events coming up, I've got more races to win, we've got the team end-of-year party, we've got Stars and Cars [a Mercedes event in Stuttgart].
"Jeez, man, I've got to get some good sleep because there's going to be a lot of partying."
He actually said all that.
It's difficult to know where to start with what Hamilton is saying here, but first of all, he's cited his mum's 60th and work Christmas do as evidence of his party lifestyle.
What's perhaps more telling, though, is the line, 'You would be really proud if you knew how much I consumed'.
Would we? Who does Hamilton think he's speaking to? A bunch of sixth formers who have just bought a litre of vodka with a fake ID?
It's almost as if a self-imposed tax exile millionaire with a nauseating transatlantic accent who lives in Monte Carlo has no conception of what impresses the average person on the street.
Exhibit B comes from last year's Brit Awards when Hamilton painfully attempted 'bants' with Ellie Goulding and succeeded only in completely silencing the 20,000-strong crowd at the O2 by ribbing the singer about her dress.
We can only hope Hamilton restored some pride with the copious amount of booze he presumably consumed at the event's after-party.
This is also a man who once said, "maybe it's because I'm black that's what Ali G says, I don't know," when asked in 2011 why he comes in for so much criticism.
To be fair, Hamilton did at least admit afterwards that, "it was a bit of a joke, which wasn't funny at the time. It's very intense at the end of those kind of races. You don't always say the right thing. I was trying to be funny, but it wasn't funny."
He could have added that Ali G impressions haven't been funny since around the turn of the millennium, if ever.
If this all seems unnecessarily harsh, that's because it probably is. But there is a serious-ish message here. Hamilton is not a George Best or Stan Bowles, or any of those colourful characters from the past who genuinely couldn't resist the party lifestyle, and nor should he necessarily want to be.
The driver really should not give a tinker's toss what the public think of him, and maybe he doesn't and it's clever PR, but he seems genuinely needy and desirous of public adoration, certainly if his social media activity is anything to go by.
Well, if you're interested, Lewis, I doubt many are impressed by your claims of heavy drinking or taking selfies while driving.
Continued sporting success is more likely to impress the majority, and do you know what would really win many of us over? Not dating Nicole Scherzinger, not Instagram shots of you posing with various celebrities, not even drinking heavily at your mum's 60th.
It would be moving back to the UK and paying your taxes. That's the kind of party most of us could get on board with.