F1 » 30 October 2011
Hamilton accepts death a risk worth taking
Lewis Hamilton has said that no amount of tragedy could deter him from doing what he loves.
Despite having been affected by the deaths of Dan Wheldon and Marco Simoncelli in the past two weeks, Lewis Hamilton admits that the ever-present threat of danger in motorsport is not enough to turn him away.
The Briton, who followed Wheldon up through the junior ranks, joined his fellow drivers in a minute's silence in memory of the fallen ahead of Sunday's Indian Grand Prix, but insisted that he was not afraid of dying in a race.
"Everyone will have [their deaths] in their minds," Hamilton told journalists ahead of the inaugural F1 event at Buddh International Circuit, "But you have got to do what you do because you love it. It is a sacrifice and a risk that we all take. No one wants to be in those situations but, for me, if I was to pass away, I cannot imagine a better way, personally. I have always said if I was going to go, then in a racing car would be the way to do it. It is what I love."
While his father remains present at every round of the world championship in his role as manager to Paul di Resta, and is well aware of the dangers, Hamilton confessed that he hoped the rest of his family would understand why he continued to race.
"I haven't sat down and told them that because I think they know," he mused, "Even when I was in karting, [there was] that fear part of it, [but] they know that there is nothing else I would rather be doing. I don't know if it is fate, I think it is just unfortunate. My thoughts go out to [the Wheldon and Simoncelli] families, as I cannot imagine what they are going through. It is the same for Martin Hines' family and all the people that are passing away at the moment."
While F1 currently enjoys a positive safety record - no-one has died in an F1 car since the dark weekend at Imola in 1994 and accidents such as befell Sergio Perez in Monaco are now survivable - Hamilton accepts that the push for safety cannot be relaxed - even if it means the sport adopting powerboat-style cockpit covers.
"We all say it doesn't look great, but it looks like it could be an improvement to the car," he suggested, "It is a difficult balance because we want to keep F1 as it is, open-topped, so we have got a massive challenge to try and make it safer without putting a hood on."
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