Lewis Hamilton: Big fan of e-gaming but says it won’t produce F1 world champions



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Formula 1 successfully entered the world of esports in 2017, but reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton doesn’t feel that computer games will ever produce a real-world championship-winning driver.

Speaking at the launch of the 2018 Mercedes Formula 1 car on Thursday, Hamilton, who features as a driver coach on the new Gran Turismo game, said that while e-gaming may produce some good simulation drivers, he finds it difficult to believe that it will produce a Formula 1 winner.

“I’ve played a lot of racing simulation games with my brother,” said Hamilton. “We’d spend hours and hours and hours. I mean, my brother still connects things to when we played driving simulation games.

“During this winter, I had this cool setup with the PlayStation and the new Gran Turismo playing online, and I was playing against people like Ham44, who had no idea they were racing against me. One guy shunted me off — I think it was Ham44 — and he didn’t know it was me he was pushing off.

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“It is quite incredible the development, but do I think that it translates into being a racing driver? Honestly, I don’t.

“I don’t think — you can never say never, but I know some guys and girlfriends who are better gaming, then you go to a car and they don’t have a clue. It’s not the same because it’s a different environment.

“If it has an opportunity for a future, then there are people from places that I come from that can give it a go, but I think it’s much harder for anyone from a council estate in Stevenage to get to Formula 1 now. It’s pretty much impossible because you don’t have the money.”

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Hamilton heads into 2018 with the sole aim of winning a fifth drivers’ crown, and the British driver says that it’s strange to realize that he is already entering his sixth season with Mercedes and his twelfth in the sport.

“This is the first time that I’ve seen the car put together,” continued Hamilton. “It’s my sixth season with the team, and it’s crazy to think that it’s been that long but also the development of the car each year. This is the most exciting part of the year to this point, to see the whole car put together.

“I’ve seen the development of the car for the last eight months or so and, to just see all of the pieces come together — it’s a work of art.”

“I think that the team have done a good job to integrate it (the Halo) and make it look as nice as they can. It’s a fact, it’s something that we knew had been coming for some time now, and I think, honestly, after a few races, we’ll forget that it’s even there,


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