“I don’t want my mum’s name to be forgotten”: Hamilton explains decision to change name

2022 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton has explained why he decided to add his mother’s surname to his own name.

The Mercedes driver revealed last week he is in the process of adding his mother’s surname, Larbalastier, to his own. Hamilton admitted he intended to tell his mother, Carmen, before letting it slip during a live event with fans at Dubai’s Expo 2020 event.

“It was supposed to be a surprise,” he said in response to a question from RaceFans. “It ended up being a surprise, but I was going to tell my mum first before people saw it.

“But it just slipped out and I’ve already applied for it. It won’t be a surname, it’ll be my addition to my middle name.”

His full name prior to the addition is Lewis Carl Davidson Hamilton. He spent a long period with his family during the off-season, while he was avoiding the spotlight following the controversial end to last year’s world championship, following which he announced the decision to change his name.

“I spent Christmas with all of my immediate family, so my mum, my step-mum, my dad, my two sisters and my brother, who were with me for the majority of the break,” he said.

“I’ve thought of it for a long time. I’ve always been very, very close to my parents and both mums have all been always been absolutely incredible and thanks to them I’ve grown with so much respect for women.

“Naturally I was sad when my granddad from my mum’s side passed and just knowing that, I just felt for quite some time that I wanted to add my mum and my granddad’s name into my name. I already have my granddad from my dad’s side in my middle name, which is Davidson, and obviously Hamilton.”

He said his mother felt “happy and proud and she was very emotional about it.

“But I think ultimately, embracing your whole family, you only have one family, right? And there will never be any any other people like your family.

“For me I want both my family’s names to transcend down hopefully into the next generations and I don’t want my mum’s name to be forgotten in that.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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19 comments on ““I don’t want my mum’s name to be forgotten”: Hamilton explains decision to change name”

  1. Wasn’t this already posted?

    1. @AlexS Yes, recycled news.

      1. Yep although there is a bit of information buried in there. He’s not changing his surname. He’ll still just be Lewis Hamilton and the name Larbalastier will be heard as much as we currently hear Carl and Davidson when referring to him – never.

        1. The initial report that both Sky and the BBC carried stated it wasn’t a change of surname, but a middle name. I suppose reporting it as a change of surname was a better story.

          1. I’d say none of this is particularly newsworthy. This seems very much a personal business type of deal.

            Best left to the tabloids and Sky, not the racing news outlet.

  2. He’s changing it again already?

    1. @S No, just recycled news.

  3. This is a heartwarming classy move by Hamilton.

  4. he is definitely more than just a brutal-fine-fast racer

    1. That very point is being made very clear on the Mercedes twitter timeline now :o

  5. Honestly, unless it’s part of the surname I doubt it will be remembered anyway by 99.9% of people.
    In the long run people will remember Sir Lewis Hamilton, not all his middle names.

    1. Not via TV mentions no. But it’ll probably be on every signed piece of paperwork.

      1. Yes and who’s reading that paperwork? Amongst the general populace it’ll still be forgotten.

        Heck the vast majority don’t even know his current middle names.

  6. Great gesture but I feel for the commentators when “Sir Lewis Carl Davidson Larbalastier Hamilton The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire wins Le Gran Premio del Made in Italy e dell’Emilia-Romagna Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari Imola, Italy”

    1. So Lewis lost Monza will do.

    2. @qeki
      With Liberty Media, you forgot to add “sponsored by Verizon Wireless, 5G now available”

  7. If he doesn’t make it a hyphenated surname, it will be forgotten. Ted K. might be the only person to be enough of a kiss as* to mention it regularly. I wasn’t even aware of his original middle names despite having watching every race before/since he was even a rookie and I even recently rewatched the 2007 season (I also saw it live).

    1. It’s interesting and ironic that you mention Sky’s Ted Kravitz.

      It’s a little-known fact that Ted’s real name is:

      Theodore Joseph Nathaniel Slotover

      He chose to use his mother’s surname, Kravitz, early in his career apparently.

  8. A very nice gesture indeed. Reflects his, as he has mentioned, respect for women and love for his family, and surely, is meant mostly for his mom’s benefit. Another classy act by Lewis.

    Even though, neither he, nor we, need worry….all is eventually swept into the dustbin of history.
    (What percentage of the British public can name their first F1 World Champion? (MH) And, in the US….most of the public would be pressed to even describe what an F1 World Champion was exactly, much less who their first champion was (PH).
    Now, if someone was a social-media “influencer”…..that would be a different matter…..

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