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Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton says F1 needs to make changes to ensure potential stars of the future are not cut off and stopped from achieving their dreams.
Hamilton, 35, is one of the most successful drivers in F1 history. He has six world-titles under his name and 84 Grand Prix wins.
The Mercedes star says he always wanted to reach superstardom – even if it seemed nigh on unachievable when he was growing up in Stevenage.
“It’s always important to follow your dreams no matter how impossible they may seem,” Hamilton told Italian magazine Style Corriere della Sera, when asked what he’d tell a young version of himself today.
“When I was a kid, the idea of me becoming a Formula 1 driver was crazy. I was very fortunate that my dad encouraged me to chase my dreams and never give up.”
Hamilton says he’s not always had it easy and his struggles started when he was a child.
“I’ve never had a quitting mindset and that’s part of the reason I’m where I am today,” Hamilton said. “But there have been many difficult moments.
“I remember coming home from school, super excited to go karting, and my dad having to tell me that we didn’t have enough money to go that week. The other kids at the track didn’t have those worries.”
Hamilton became the first black driver to make it onto the F1 grid when he made his debut at the Australian Grand Prix 13 years ago.
“The truth is that it was incredibly hard for me to break into this industry,” Hamilton said. “I wish I could say it was better today but if anything, I think the situation is worse than ever before.
“Motor racing is so expensive that working class and lower income brackets are excluded from the outset.”