Lewis Hamilton and Esteban Ocon inspect a remote control car

‘I was super-impressed with him’: Hamilton and Ocon race RC cars at Suzuka

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Lewis Hamilton and Esteban Ocon took time out from their Japanese Grand Prix preparations to race each other using remote controlled cars in the pit lane at Suzuka.

The pair, who worked together at Mercedes when Ocon was one of the team’s reserves, have driven the scaled-down racers since they were children. Ocon, who still drives the car regularly, said Hamilton had been quick to reacquaint himself with the machines.

“I was super-impressed because he hasn’t done it for years,” said the Alpine driver. “He was like, yeah I’ll start slow and all that. I practice a lot, I’m constantly on it, and straight away, like first braking point, he nails it. So that’s more than impressive.”

The pair each had a car kitted out in colours to match their F1 machines, and bearing their racing numbers.

“Esteban and I had planned, obviously a while ago, that while we’re here, we’ll get our remote control cars together and have a bit of a race in the pit lane,” Hamilton explained.

The seven-times world champion first came to public attention in Britain when he appeared on a popular children’s television at the age of eight driving one of his remote-controlled cars.

“For me it was very reminiscent of when I was a kid on Blue Peter,” said Hamilton. “It was really cool, because we all share more in common than we probably think other than the fact that we’re pure racers. But it’s very rare that we all get to do things like that, so it was it was fun.”

“When I was a kid I raced electric and petrol [cars], and it was a Kyosho, which is basically an evolution of the car that you’ll see like Senna had, and I had the same car as Senna when I was younger so. And he’s mega at it.”

“I flipped it a lot of times.” Hamilton admitted. “But I think I had a softer set-up.”

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Hamilton and Ocon race RC cars at Suzuka

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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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11 comments on “‘I was super-impressed with him’: Hamilton and Ocon race RC cars at Suzuka”

  1. this is one of my favorite things in f1

  2. Please tell me there were cameras there to record this and the footage will be released sometime soon.

  3. Petition to get all F1 drivers when a red flag hits when it’s too wet, they all go to the nearest hall and race with RC cars instead to fill the time.

    1. Just set up a track at pit exit!

  4. BTW, the person who’s helping them is yuichi kanay, the designer of the kyosho cars they are using.

  5. Secretly, Hamilton has been practicing his ass off.

    1. That crossed my mind too. I doubt he had too much time for that, but I’d be surprised if he didn’t, just a liiiittle bit. Ocon would be the first one to fall for that as well.

      1. Ocon would be the first one to fall for that as well.

        Possible. He fell for the “Gasly will co-operate with you to get the best result for the team” line.

  6. I used to love my RC cars when I was a kid. It’s interesting that if you search up the video of Lewis on Blue Peter, the presenter says to him “Nigel Mansell eat your heart out”. Who’d have thought?

  7. When I saw the headline about RC cars, I thought you meant they’d been racing Popemobiles.

  8. They need race with Piastri! He was Australian champion with RC cars driving for Slovakian company Xray

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