Lewis Hamilton does not hesitate for long when he is asked to nominate someone who inspired him.
The McLaren rookie, who could on Sunday make history by becoming the first driver to ever finish his first three grands prix on the podium, said seven time world champion Michael Schumacher “always gave 100 per cent”.
“I met Michael last year,” Briton Hamilton, 22, told the newspaper Bild am Sonntag in Bahrain, “and he said something to me that I will never forget.
“I was walking in the paddock in Turkey and he stopped me and said, ‘Fantastic race. What you did today was outstanding’.”
Schumacher, now 38 and still an ‘advisor’ for the Ferrari team, was referring to Hamilton’s inspirational drive through the field in GP2.
Asked if the German is still a role model, Hamilton answered: “Absolutely. And not just as a driver.
“He didn’t have to say that to me. Other drivers achieved far less than he did but are much more arrogant.
“His ambition and dedication impressed me; before his last ever race he was still testing. He always gave 100 per cent, right up to the last second.”