Belfast Telegraph

Tough childhood spurs Hamilton's F1 title ambition

By Ian Parkes

Lewis Hamilton has suggested his under-privileged upbringing has made him hungrier for this season's Formula One world title than team-mate Nico Rosberg.

Hamilton may now have all the trappings of wealth that come with his celebrity status, but throughout his formative years until the time when he was handed a contract with McLaren in 2007, that was far from the case.

Hamilton's surroundings were exceptionally modest, with father Anthony at one stage holding down three jobs in order to pay for his son to pursue his early karting ambitions.

As for Rosberg, the son of 1982 world champion Keke, he has lived all his years in Monaco, and so it can be claimed he has known nothing other than the good life.

Rosberg has even spoken of the times his father walked him to school along roads that form part of the principality's street circuit.

To that extent, one German newspaper recently suggested Rosberg was too soft to go toe-to-toe with Hamilton.

As 2008 world champion, and winning the crown in the manner he did – with an overtaking manoeuvre on the final corner of the last lap of the concluding race of the season – it would suggest Hamilton has the killer instinct.

"Let me tell you this: I come from a not-great place in Stevenage and lived on a couch in my dad's apartment," said Hamilton.

"Nico grew up in Monaco with jets and hotels and boats and all these kind of things, so the hunger is different. I want to be the hungriest guy in the cockpit from all 22 of us – even if every driver has to believe he's the hungriest.

"If I were to come here believing Nico is hungrier than me then I might as well go home.

"So I've got to be the hungriest. To win the world championship you need to be the hungriest."

Hamilton goes into Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix with a slender three-point cushion over Rosberg after winning the last four grands prix.

On a rain-affected practice day, Hamilton and Rosberg again led the field, with the Briton just 0.032secs ahead of the 28-year-old.

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