Before becoming the former Formula 1 multiple champion he is today, Lewis Hamilton was a teenager who succumbed to the lure of youthful enthusiasm. Before he had the incessant training necessary to perform at the highest level for so long, the young Hamilton had done a series of odd jobs to support himself and his father…before he was completely free of the influence of alcohol.
In England, pubs are to be found on every street corner in every town. So it’s only natural that Lewis Hamilton has been there before, but the Mercedes driver claims that it was only to work. The seven-time world champion worked in the nightlife world when he was not even of age to legally drink. Hamilton claims he worked as a barman to earn some extra money. It was the one and only time he was confronted with alcohol and he has bad memories of it.
“I earned £5 an hour”.
To earn a bit of a living t0 help supplement the household income, Lewis Hamilton worked in a pub and he says, in words reported by the French media, “I never went to a pub for a drink. But I have a good reason…”
“I worked in a pub when I was 17. I was a barman. I think I was earning about four euros an hour or something ridiculous like that. It was minimum wage. It was a good experience. But the best part was when I quit.” said Hamilton.
“I tried all the alcohol and I was completely drunk…”
The British Mercedes driver recounts the day he decided to drink the spirits he was serving, with a rather amusing result:
“On the last day, I cleaned the bar and thought, “what are these drinks I’m serving to everyone?”
“I tried everything and my dad had to come and get me! I was completely drunk! I tried a bit of everything. I got a lot of flak for it and since then I’ve had very, very little to do with alcohol.”
Hamilton gave up drinking, unlike Kimi Raikkonen
Perhaps the most famous of the recent F1 drivers with a relationship with alcohol is the recently retired Finnish driver, Kimi Raikkonen. Several incidents have been seen and recorded showing the otherwise shy Kimi acting quite differently in between racing.
At the 2018 FIA Awards in Russia, many noticed that something was different about the Ferrari team mate to Sebastian Vettel.
Champagne flowed and, because it would be impolite not to, Scuderia star Raikkonen fully exploited an open bar. Afterwards, all Raikkonen really wanted was to smoke his cigar in peace. And regale those around him with a story or two.
It was when he took to the stage for the piece de resistance that the 40-year-old really came to life. Looking slightly less crisp than in his pre-event Instagram post, Raikkonen trundled out to collect his award for third in the Drivers’ Championship.
He acknowledged the crowd and applauded Vettel before offering his teammate a little bow. “Kimi has enjoyed tonight a lot,” the presenter said.