Luca Bruno/Associated Press
Lewis Hamilton has claimed his upbringing may have given him a greater drive to succeed than teammate Nico Rosberg.
He was brought up in Stevenage, Hertfordshire. His parents separated when he was very young, and he lived first with his mother and then, from the age of 12, with his father, who worked multiple jobs to pay for his son's early racing career.
It wasn't what anyone would call a deprived childhood, but it wasn't one of luxury, either. Hamilton compared it to that of Rosberg—brought up in the somewhat opulent setting of Monaco—in an interview with Formula1.com. When asked if he had more "killer instinct" than his teammate, he said:
Let me tell you this: I come from a not-great place in Stevenage and lived on a couch in my dad’s apartment—and Nico grew up in Monaco with jets and hotels and boats and all these kind of things—so the hunger is different.
I want to be the hungriest guy in the cockpit from all 22 of us—even if every driver has to believe that he’s the hungriest—because if I were to come here believing that Nico is hungrier than me then I might as well go home. So I’ve got to be the hungriest—to win the world championship you need to be the hungriest.
Several outlets, including The Guardian, called the remarks "mind games," while The Mirror referred to Hamilton's comments as an "astonishing 'rich kid’ jibe."
Mind games, or just an innocent comment which has been used to create some dramatic column inches?
Hard to say, but later in the same interview Hamilton referred to his relationship with Rosberg in a positive manner, saying it will always be respectful, and that his German rival had been looking after his safe for the last few months.
Just as well Nico doesn't wear diamond earrings, or that could have turned nasty.