Lewis Hamilton has admitted he feared not having any F1 fans when he started his F1 career 15 years ago. The seven-time champion thought he would only be supported by his parents when growing up despite rising up the karting ranks.
The British star also suggested he was “overwhelmed” by the interest in him ahead of his debut race in 2007. Hamilton made the revelation in a YouTube video for Mercedes AMG Petronas as he reacted to comments left by fans on social media.
He explained: “It’s been beautiful to see people who have known me, somehow followed me before I even got to Formula One, and then people who started the journey with me in 2007. And even for those who have joined along the way I love how this sport unites us and this journey has brought us together.
“I never ever actually thought, when I was growing up in Stevenage and playing around the corner in the park, I never thought I’d have a follower other than my mum, a supporter other than my mum or my dad.
“Then when I saw the first one in 2007 I was very overwhelmed just by the first person that noticed supporting me and that’s grown over time so I’m so grateful.” Hamilton’s comments come after one of the seven-time champion’s worst-ever seasons in the sport.
The 37-year-old has revealed 2022 was one of his worst seasons in the sport despite some bursts of optimism. He commented: “This year was not the greatest. It is probably up there with the top-three worst seasons. But in terms of how the team stayed united, there have been lots of pluses.
“It would have been nice to have taken a win, but one win is not really enough is it?
“I feel like this year, when we got our first fifth, it felt like a win. When we got our first fourth, it felt like a win. When we got our first podium, it felt like a win, and those second places felt as if we really achieved something, so I’ll just hold on to those.”