Lewis Hamilton: Kanye West's soundboard

The three-time world champ talks about his life on and off the track.

July 8, 2016

Lewis Hamilton’s had a mixed season so far, but came out ahead last weekend in Austria in his most recent clash with Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg.

EDGAR heard from the reigning world champ at an event in Dubai for IWC watches in which he talked about growing up, getting in the zone, and his private chats with Kanye. 

I started racing when I was eight

It’s been an amazing 22 years, always going upwards.

I’m pretty hardcore and I want to race hard

For example, I lost 4kg in the Brazilian Grand Prix last year. When the race is over I want to feel depleted so that I can go home proud. 

Once that visor comes down on my helmet

I’m in my own space. I find it very easy to focus.

When I was a kid I watched the Grand Prix with my dad at the weekends

He had a suitcase full of old bits of Scalextric including some really cool cars. I dreamt about being a F1 driver but I didn’t think it was possible. My dad told me to never give up. He was the key part of the puzzle.

I drive around Monaco today on my scooter or in my Smart car

It’s crazy to think I live there. I live in the same building as Nico [Rosberg] but I don’t really hang out with other drivers. I go home to see my parents in England and I see the old places where I did this and that – so many experiences. I’ve come a long way from Stevenage!

I sacrificed everything in 2015 to win the world championship

I was up early to train. You know what – food is 70 per cent of my training. It was an unbelievable year – the most flat out year of my life, and there’s more to come. Hopefully I will continue to grow.

I love music the same amount as I love cars

I’ve written about 130 songs. Pharrell Williams is a genius – he has such a positive energy. Kanye sent me a track to listen to because he wanted to see what I thought of it. I thought, "You’re trusting me with one of your tracks?!"

I’ve been to Africa and the Philippines with UNICEF

I’d like to do more of that when I stop racing. I feel like that’s where my heart is.

I’m at peace with myself 

But I hate spiders!

The British Grand Prix takes place this weekend; qualifying Saturday, race Sunday.