'India is amazing, brilliant'

'India is amazing, brilliant'

Lewis Hamiltons father, also a driver manager, is enthused by the Indian GP

In this chat with Deccan Herald, the senior Hamilton throws light on life in the fast lane.

Excerpts:
Tell us about your visit to India...
It’s fantastic to be here. I'm really enjoying the culture, the people and the natural aspects of the country. We go to a lot of Grands Prix around the world. We normally go straight to the circuit and then to the hotel. We don't get to see the country. But when you arrive here, you see the country right away. It's been exciting. I've been to India a couple of times but I have never been to Delhi. But I just find it amazing. There are so many people, so many cars and there seems to be chaos but it's not chaos. It's the way of life, it's organised life. It's brilliant. If we were like that in the UK, life would be much simpler.

Has this been a culture shock of sorts?
It isn't a culture shock at all. I think India is everything... that people come home and say 'wow, fantastic place', and you know when you arrive here, that's exactly how its feels. The minute we left the airport, I said this is going to be something and it was. In the UK, everything is politically correct. It's like you can't park here, you can't park there. You can't do anything without getting a ticket or getting fined. Here people live... so you know people should just enjoy it.

What is your take on the track and the atmosphere in general?
The effort that has been put into getting this circuit has been brilliant. To get it ready in such a short period is even better. It’s fantastic. I'm hoping this will become one of the biggest Grands Prix in the calendar. The track is simply astounding. The one thing is that India still has a lot of culture left in it. What happens in a lot of countries is that they become westernised and materialistic. You could go to a shop in most places around the world and it would be almost as if I'm shopping in London. But here the shops are the bazaars and are on the street. That means something. It's all become a little bit too sterile now. And I hope India doesn't get there.

Your relationship with Lewis...

I didn't teach Hamilton to be a champion. I did what most parents do -- give him a better life. Growing up, I worked very hard and I didn't want Lewis to do three jobs like I did, be disrespected and looked down upon. I wanted him to get better opportunities; I worked hard and he worked hard to get there.

What is your opinion on the winners of the Sahara Force India one-in-a-billion programme to groom an Indian  F1 driver?
The three guys that were picked (Bangalore’s Arjun Maini, Chennai’s Tarun Reddy and Mumbai’s Jehan Daruvala) are good. Once they are done with the eight to nine years of training, they should become among the best drivers to come out of India. I'm going to be managing an Indian driver soon. I'm about to sign him up. I can't reveal his name yet because I'm still in talks with his father.

The little guy has a great personality and a karting champion in India. He told me that he wanted to be in Formula One and I told him if he listened to somebody like me -- who has seen it, done it and has a lot of experience – I would make him a schedule. He would have to listen to me, do his homework, respect his parents and then he would be a champion.

Whether a champion in motor sport or champion in cricket, it doesn't matter. As long as he is a champion in life and takes his values forward, I would have done my bit.

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