Lewis Hamilton’s recent win in the FIA World Endurance Championship, his fourth title in five years, put him equal to many great drivers. The elusive three-timer is only the second driver in history to achieve the feat, after Wolfgang Schumacher in 1998-99, so he’s climbed the motor sport ranks in spectacular fashion.
The 26-year-old’s competitive heart is rooted in South Africa, where his brother Nicolas met him at age 2 after his parents adopted him from a Jewish Holocaust victim in Romania. Nicolas has since turned his back on his father, who was ordered by the Nazis to only marry a non-Jew. He’s now raising two boys of his own, while Lewis works hard to maintain a long list of motorsport accomplishments that made him No. 1 on the Today show’s social media list.
Nicolas still finds himself racking his brain in search of the next Lewis. “The list is huge,” he said, adding that his younger brother is a master at switching cars. “He did an amazing championship this year for Audi, and then switched to Honda in 2016 and won again in the end. That’s something he does brilliantly. He’s very, very quick, has a quick mind, and drives very hard.”
Indeed, it doesn’t take long to hear how much Lewis embodies his brother’s qualities. Nicolas’s own love of racing springs from his uncle, who died when Nicolas was in college. “He was extremely gifted in that area,” Nicolas said. “That’s what I’ve always emulated with Lewis. He’s extremely talented, and the way he uses the car and the way he enjoys it.”
The extent to which Lewis brings out his sibling’s competitive instincts can be seen in Nicolas’s remark about the immense pressure that accompanies a tie or first place in a single motor sport event, a circumstance all that children can relate to. “It’s because you’re going into the unknown,” he explained. “Any car race that’s five hours can go either way. It’s there to be bettered. The one thing that needs to happen for him is to do very well, because if he doesn’t, there are people who are not going to be too happy about that.”
In Nic’s opinion, Lewis has little doubt about who’s going to come out on top. “There’s just no question it’s going to be his,” he said.
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