Lewis Hamilton’s family feud which almost wrecked F1 career and left dad ‘devastated’

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Lewis Hamilton has had a storied F1 career, breaking multiple records on the racetrack and winning seven world titles. His father, Anthony, has had a major impact on his son’s career and was Lewis’ manager up until a split in 2010 which saw them not speak to each other for a time.

Speaking to the Sunday Mirror back in 2012, Anthony revealed his son’s decision left him “shocked” and “devastated” and that he “didn’t deal with it very well.”

“It was a nightmare,” he said. “It was like something had died. I was shocked, devastated. When he said he no longer wanted me as manager it came completely out of the blue because we hadn’t fallen out.

“I didn’t get angry – but I didn’t deal with it very well. I’d been at his side from his first remote-control car race when he was five. Every week, week-in week-out, I’d put my life into it. That day was a life-changing experience.

“Lewis was right to go his own way. Was it right the way it happened? Probably not. If I’d had my way it would have been done ­differently.

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“But it is what it is. And I can honestly say we have both become better people for it. It had to happen at some stage. One would have had to say to the other, ‘I’m leaving you’.

“And   it wasn’t ­going to be me. I was so focused. I couldn’t think about anything ­except Lewis’s career.

“I wasn’t enjoying it, and maybe he wasn’t but we couldn’t find the way to say it to each other. I’d had sleepless nights thinking how I was going to tell him I’m not coming any more.”

During a 2013 legal battle with former F1 driver Paul Di Resta, who Hamilton had also managed, it was revealed that Lewis had promised to give Anthony up to $4m as part of their split.

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However, Anthony was never paid and told the court: “I never asked Lewis for a penny. When he won the World Championship in 2008, he thanked me and that was all I needed for 18 years of graft.

“We split because at that time Lewis had spent nearly 18 years with me. He thought, ‘You know what dad, I am fed up listening to you’. He decided he wanted to be his own man. I was comfortable with that.”

Asked why Lewis changed his mind about the payment, Anthony added: “I don’t have the answer to that. It just never happened. I am comfortable with it. It’s not my business. If he says he’s going to do something and he doesn’t that’s his loss. It’s not my place to go money-grabbing.”

Taking to social media last year, Lewis wrote a touching message about how they had “lost that father-son bond” but have been able to repair their relationship.

He wrote: “Our journey hasn’t been an easy one, we’ve faced so many obstacles as individuals but also as a family.  My dad and I haven’t had the easiest of relationships.

“He worked so hard to create an opportunity for us as a family and because of him I am where I am today. In the search for success, with the pressure it put on us all, we were so immersed in the drive to succeed that we lost sight of what was most important – our relationship.

“Over time, we lost that father-son bond and it has been something we have both wanted back for so long. The past couple years we’ve been growing closer and this winter break I asked my dad to come visit me so we could spend some time together, just us. We haven’t done this before, so to finally get to spend quality time with him has brought me so much happiness.

“I just wanted to share this with you. Family is the most important thing in the world. You can’t choose your family but you can make it work with them no matter what your differences. They are the ones that will be there when you have nothing.”

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