Lewis Hamilton: The David Beckham of F1?

Alex LevySenior Analyst IMay 15, 2008

There was an interesting article in the news recently pointing out that Hamilton had agreed to a 20 million pounds contract over the next three years to become one of Reebok's brand ambassador.

Furthermore, the article stated that at this going rate plus the money Hamilton already makes with McLaren, pundits are predicting Lewis to be well on course to matching Schumacher's estimated 500 million pounds fortune and more—becoming Britain's richest man in sports.

However, money is not everything in life, especially if you're an F1 racer. 

Your goal is to win, and that's primary.  The money should be second to thatyet it seems that while Lewis' performances go down, his potential income and sponsorships deals are on the rise.

Are we then witnessing the birth of a David Beckham in Formula 1?  In other words is Lewis Hamilton gaining fame, money, and recognition as a tool for brand promotion over his performances?

Last week in Istanbul as part of a Vodafone promotional event, Lewis was asked to go up on stage (theatre performance) and play the role of Apollo...How ridiculous is that? 

Lewis is not an actorhe is an F1 driver for goodness sake!  He may be a key promotional tool for McLaren's sponsors, but at heart that's not what he has signed for.

My worry is that Lewis Hamilton is losing sight of what's really important, and for what? Money, money, money!

If David Beckham's record gives any indication, Lewis' legions of fans should not expect their hero to become world champion anytime soon.

Winning races should be on top of his agenda, not wasting time with sponsors!