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Rowland: Hamilton could do more to help young drivers

  • Published on 16 Apr 2020 13:44
  • comments 9
  • By: Harry Mattocks

Nissan Formula E driver Oliver Rowland had criticised the six-time Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton, saying that he could 'do more' to help young drivers by getting more personally involved. 

During an appearance on the Graham Norton show in 2019, Hamilton revealed his concerns about how expensive it is to get into motorsport. He was surprised at how expensive karting and feeder series had become, potentially blocking talented drivers from reaching the top tier. 

On the Inside Electric podcast, Rowland revealed how it 'pisses him off' that F1 drivers complain about the feeder series without actually being involved. 

Rowland, who runs his own karting team, says that he knows from experience the benefits that a karting team can bring.

“I know first-hand how much it costs to run a karting team,” Rowland said. “People say you should get rid of teams because they bring out more costs.

“But then at the same time, as a team, we provide a package for the driver to develop much quicker than if he was on his own.

“Especially in Britain we have really good grassroots karting and they tend to get really good really quickly. So it’s very difficult. I myself sponsor, or I’ve helped pay for, a couple of drivers or I’ve helped in certain ways that I can." 

He continued: “I’m not on the same level as the top F1 guys, but I put my hand in my pocket to help people who I think deserve it and probably couldn’t go to the next level without that help.

“I notice that the people saying it in the press and things like that, maybe they could do the same. It pisses me off a little bit sometimes when I hear people complaining about it, but then actually they’re not really doing much themselves.

“For example, Lewis said a couple of months ago that people need motorsport grassroots and all this sort of stuff.

“Even if he was to put his name against three or four drivers that were doing exceptionally well, that would help draw in sponsorship for them. And that wouldn’t actually cost him anything. But it would just be a way for them to then generate a bit of sponsorship for themselves.

“Just to have him backing somebody, he could go to sponsors, he could even go to meetings with them. He’d generate a hundred thousand karting budget very quickly. Whereas without him it’s really difficult for anybody to get anything.”

Replies (9)

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  • JuJuHound

    Posts: 352

    Lewis might be to busy regarding his fashion clothes company :D

    • + 1
    • Apr 16 2020 - 14:17
  • f1dave

    Posts: 782

    If he doesn't like how the system works . . .

    • + 0
    • Apr 16 2020 - 15:29
    • Better to do nothing? It worked very well for him when sponsored by an oganization with decent funding. Literally, his career depended on Ron Dennis finding him. Who knows how much longer Mr. Hamilton would have been able to keep supporting Lewis.

      The point is that it doesn't take much, and even if it's 10,000 euros, that's 10,000 euros more than it's being done right now

      • + 0
      • Apr 16 2020 - 16:07
  • Cheap shot. Does anyone know exactly the scope of his activities?

    • + 0
    • Apr 16 2020 - 20:03
  • Harryw

    Posts: 107

    Excellent point

    • + 0
    • Apr 16 2020 - 23:50
  • There could be some real good intent behind these remarks. But in real world, it’s not Hamilton’s mistake, if he spends his money and time as he like. However, it’s my wish that, after the retirement, F1 greats give something back to the sport.

    • + 0
    • Apr 18 2020 - 00:01
  • Well, I know I have incredibly popular opinions on how Hammy spend his money, so I'll say this: Hammy could indeed do more to help young drivers. In fact, looking at his history, Hammy maybe even should do more to help young drivers. That said, while he ethically might owe it to a promising junior as a means of "paying back for his own career start", morally he doesn't owe it to anyone. He could donate €10K to a youngling, he could donate €100K, or even hold an entire academy programme of his own, and his economy wouldn't even flinch, considering how much he earns from his driver income alone. But morally speaking, he doesn't owe it to anyone.

    • + 0
    • Apr 18 2020 - 12:30
    • He's not obliged, I think it's more about the alleged hypocrisy of being highly critical of the structure that, brought him up the ranks and then do nothing to help improve it.

      Hamilton is the biggest star the sport has ever had. If he makes a donation somewhere it gets out. I could be wrong, of course, but I feel fairly certain that if he had made significant contributions to younger racing it would be known.

      • + 0
      • Apr 18 2020 - 19:05
    • It does, and it isn't even hard to look up. Leaks and published numbers of these things are rampant, and Hammy doesn't exactly score very high up in any of these kinda endeavours.

      • + 0
      • Apr 19 2020 - 14:38

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