Written by By Emily Rauhala, CNN
Following the tragic accident at the Turkish Grand Prix in May 2018, Lewis Hamilton and his father Anthony hit the cover of Time magazine.
Written as “Sympathy in a harrowing car crash,” the article captured the attention of countless Hamilton fans as it spoke about the severity of the incident.
The note, however, managed to charm Hamilton, a supremely confident man who, rather than limping away with a wrap of ribbons and a “never mind.” story in one hand, copies of which were left lying around his house, was hopeful about the future.
Winning the Formula One world championship will only be the start of Hamilton’s story, as he continues to shape the sport he loves.
For his younger brother Nicolas Hamilton, the driver’s condition initially seemed almost too difficult to comprehend.
“That July, we went to Budapest in Austria and it was my first time back in Austria since our accident,” the 31-year-old tells CNN’s Emily Rauhala on the theme of “Formula One: Then and Now.”
“I remember sitting there and crying, because it’s like the place where the accident happened. We’re in the basement apartment and it’s a different apartment, and I just remember it looked like something from a horror movie.”
Hamilton, who considers the Hungarian capital home, was wrapped in plastic for 10 days after the incident. A mid-term diagnosis revealed that the injury did not include brain damage or paralysis.
“I was in some pain, but over a period of time, I got used to the pain, I got used to the fact that I had a toe that was hanging off, but when I went out and just had a walk around the city, I felt normal again,” he says.
“For the last 16 years, F1 has been a lifelong dream,” said Hamilton. “So being able to achieve it is exciting, inspiring and overwhelming all at the same time. I feel so blessed that I have been given such a wonderful opportunity.”
“Life on the road is so incredibly difficult and I need to spend enough time with my daughter to be able to be successful.”
Hamilton, who was also involved in a single-car accident a decade ago, is preparing for his sixth season in the Formula One World Championship.
Since joining McLaren and Mercedes in 2013, Hamilton has won the title four times. Since 2014, Hamilton has also captured the hearts of F1 fans around the world for his distinctive fashion sense. He also acts as a mentor to young motor racing talent and remains passionate about motor sport more than his millions of fans.
“Formula One is our family. Grand Prix’s are home to my family,” says Hamilton. “Formula One is my family … there are so many great people in Formula One. Most of us I’ve been working with for over 20 years. I’m in a family with a lot of people I enjoy working with and I have so much respect for them.”
In 2017, Hamilton revealed that he has turned down a position in the Trump administration due to a clash with his responsibility as a F1 ambassador.
Hamilton says he still speaks with Trump but that, following the incident, he remains cautious of speaking to the US President.