Adrian Newey, the design chief of Red Bull Formula 1 states that it’s the moment motorsport organisations to consider education a priority for young drivers. He insists that children have to go to school even if they are talented enough to commit to their career full time. He recommends Formula 1 to find a strategy that allows young drivers to balance their school with their driving career.
Lewis Hamilton, a five-time Formula 1 world champion shares Newey’s opinion because he is afraid that young drivers compromise their studies committing only to their driving career. Many of the young drivers are taken out of school from a young age, 14 or 15 years, to prepare for races and to compete in contests.
At such a young age, children are thrilled by the idea of being a Formula 1 driver and they don’t understand the long-term benefits their education can bring. The best drivers in the world are the ones who have completed their studies.
Some of the most notable ones are Oliver Turvey, who attended Cambridge University and who recommends children to at least get courses as the ones Immerse.Education provides if they decide to drop out of school, Jolyon Palmer who graduated from Nottingham University, and Felipe Massa who studied marketing.
Lewis Hamilton thinks it’s the moment someone working in the industry to address this issue, and he intends to talk with FIA president Jean Todt about this problem. His purpose is to support all the young drivers who give up their studies to pursue their dream to acquire knowledge and to improve their education.
Why did Hamilton decided to address the matter?
Hamilton states that because he is a driver for many years, he knows the impression this profession makes on young people who have the talent to become successful drivers, and who are offered the chance to compete in F1 contests since a young age. He sees a certain sparkle in their eyes when he encounters them. He offered as examples the times when he met the youngsters Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard. They are skillful drivers and they have a great future waiting for them, but they should devote their time not only to driving but also to educating themselves.
Starts like Lewis Hamilton leave a great impression on aspirants and if he encourages them to continue their studies and balance their career with their school, he has greater chances to convince them because they want to follow his steps. The Mercedes driver thinks it’s his role to encourage children to put effort into building their career, but this implies both driving as good as they can, and focusing on their studies. He wants to meet with the FIA president Jean Todt and to convince him this project will help F1 drivers to improve their skills. He thinks that it’s important for professional drivers to have a positive influence on young kids who are still in school and what to follow this career.
Lewis Hamilton finds discouraging that many of the young drivers who race in well-known contests do not have an education, or don’t have the opportunity to get one. Sometimes young drivers cannot focus their skills and they fail in becoming successful contestants. When this happens, they have low chances to try something else because they left school and they have no education to apply for a different job. Parents choose to take their children out of school to allow them to focus entirely on racing, but this is a great mistake because if they don’t achieve their ultimate goal, they’ll have difficulties in trying something else.
Considering his experience, he knows what a great feeling to win a championship, so he hopes to convince Formula 1 to support the children racing in their contests to continue their education. This way, when one of the drivers fails to become a racing contestant, they can pursue another career. The engineer one is the most common profession the drivers, who don’t find racing their opportunity to shine, choose. They continue to work in the same industry, but they serve it differently.
Behind every driver, it’s a team of professionals, and every one of them has an important role in helping him or her succeed. When he first heard Adrian Newey talking about this problem in 2014, he understood that it’s something real, everyone in this industry should know about. They have been ignoring it for too long, and it’s crucial to support youngsters to build a plan B. Racing and testing should never threaten their school efforts. Newey is subjective with the matter because his son contested in Formula 4 series in 2014, and he had to help his child find a balance between his educational and work commitments.
Hamilton wants to be remembered as more than a successful Formula 1 driver; he wants to implement strategies that change the racing world. He considers that his fame and career offer him the perfect opportunity to get involved and to help young people choose the right path. He thinks that until now he only took advantage of the opportunities this industry offered him, but now it’s the moment to give something back, and by supporting young talents he can do it.
He thinks that the best thing to being remembered for is by constructing a school and encouraging pupils to continue their education. “It’s kind of difficult to put it into words but naturally I don’t want my time on Earth to mean nothing.” Lewis Hamilton stated when he first declared his intention to invest in young drivers’ education.
Lewis Hamilton took his initiative a step further and he wants to convince Britain’s Government to offer all children the opportunity to study and improve their education. He wants to work within the UK education system and to even build a school where children can learn engineering. His ambition is to improve education for everyone, not only for young race drivers because when having the right knowledge, people can make a better living for themselves.
The conclusion is that Lewis Hamilton is more than the best Britain’s Formula One driver, he is a man who wants to help children to fulfil their dreams.