It is not often a Formula 1 World Champion can find a gap in his schedule, let alone take the time to share insights on his career journey, the technologies involved in this data-driven sport, or discuss the motivations and inspirations behind his success. Lewis Hamilton was able to do just that, Thursday February 6th, when he took part in an extended Fireside Chat with Performance Insight’s Mark Gallagher in Singapore.
The event was Experian’s Vision2020 conference, and six times World Champion Hamilton was in energetic form after a winter break, admitting to having shed a few kilos in training and looking forward to engaging in battle again his rivals in this year’s record 22-race title fight. During the session he talked about his rise to the pinnacle of the sport, including how the racism he faced at primary school became a motivation for him to win in karting, and how, aged 9, he introduced himself to Ron Dennis, CEO of the McLaren Formula 1 team. There followed the story of his meteoric rise to Formula 1, finishing 2nd in the World Championship at his first attempt, and winning the title in only his second season.
He explained in detail how, at Mercedes, he works with a talented team that is focused on continuous improvement, learning more from the bad days than the good, but never settling for anything other than victory. He also described his role in helping to motivate and lead the team, especially when going through difficult times, and the way in which access to data has transformed how he can optimise performance and eliminate risks while racing at the front.
Articulate and eloquent, Lewis Hamilton impressed the audience with his softly spoken delivery, combined with steely focus and a clear determination to continue the success which has already seen him scored 84 Grand Prix victories and 151 podium finishes en route to those six World titles. One week prior to driving his 2020 Formula 1 car for the first time, this was indeed a rare opportunity for business leaders to hear first-hand from a global sports star at the very pinnacle of his career.