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Why Lewis Hamilton's brother is an inspiration for disabled people everywhere

Lewis Hamilton's younger brother serves as an inspiration to millions as Nicolas fought his neuro disorder which helped take one step forward towards his dream of racing in the F1.

Feature 16 Nov 2015, 13:33 IST
Nicolas Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton’s brother Nicolas suffers from cerebral palsy (image courtesy MBSW)

Nicolas Hamilton, the younger brother of Lewis Hamilton is an inspiration for disable people everywhere in the world as he fought out of his wheelchair to make his racing debut in the British Tour Car Championship in June 2015.

Nicolas, aged 23, suffers from a form of Cerebral Palsy known as Spastic Diplegia, which is a neurological disorder that appears during childhood due to injury or malformation in a developing brain and permanently damages some parts of the body, including the nervous system – legs, arms and hands in Nic’s case – resulting in loss of control of body movements, impaired reflexes and balance.

This chronic disorder can be caused before, during or after birth and doesn’t worsen throughout one's life, but due to excessive pain at times and difficulty in walking, Hamilton needs a wheelchair for support.

Nicolas Hamilton’s driving career so far

Despite suffering from a disability, Lewis Hamilton’s brother is an inspiration for disabled people everywhere as he’s living his dream of racing on the track and became the first disabled driver to ever compete in the British Touring Car Championship racing series alongside able-bodied athletes.

After two yeas of hiatus from the racing world, in June, Nicolas signed up a ‘guest driver’ contract for five races with the AmD Tuning team. These races were scheduled between June 27-28 and due to the terms of his contract, he was be unable to accumulate any points for AmD.

Previously in 2011, Lewis Hamilton’s half-brother ‘Nic’ had also competed in the entry level Renault Clio Cup (UK) car racing competition for Total Control Racing. He managed to finish in 14th spot after 16 races in the first season and 21st spot after 16 races in the second.

In 2013, the younger Hamilton competed in the European Touring Car Cup, where he drove in the single-make-race – Seat Leon Supercopa for Baporo Motorsport.

Parents get credit for the man he is today

Whenever interviewed or questioned by the press, Nic has always credited his parents for the immense improvement he has shown in beating the wheelchair out of his way and staying on his own two feet while he’s at it. 

Nicolas stated that his parents let him help himself and wouldn’t pick him up whenever he fell. He really admired the spirit of ‘not backing down’ and ‘if you fall pick yourself up and sprint again’ inculcated in him by his parents ever since he was a kid.

He was never doled out special treatment by his parents despite his disability and that, according to the younger Hamilton, was one of the major reasons he was able to overcome his weakness and compete alongwith able-bodied men, inspiring many others by his act.

As a seven-year-old, young Nic crashed a kart, which scared both him and his parents. It was only later in his life that he realised that being in a wheelchair isn’t his destiny and decided to make things better for himself.

An avid F1 fan since childhood, Nicolas had always wanted to race and his latest stint in the British Touring Car Championship has shown the true grit of the person he is, someone who can inspire millions.

Lewis Hamilton and Nicolas Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton is extremely proud of his brother and says that he inspires him (image courtesy The Times)

Nicolas has enjoyed an active presence in the F1 circuit alongside his three-time-world champion brother Lewis Hamilton and has been seen in all of his major races as early as when he won his first championship in 2008.

Things turned around a tad-bit seven years later, when Lewis Hamilton traveled 13000 miles amidst preparations for the Malaysian GP and proudly stood in the stands at Brands Hatch to watch his younger brother Nic’s debut race. 

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