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Home > Sports > Formula One > Reuters > Report

Hamilton may leave Britain

August 26, 2007 17:13 IST

Formula One championship leader Lewis Hamilton [Images] says he may have to leave Britain if he is to lead a normal life.

The 22-year-old McLaren driver told British Sunday newspaper reporters at the Turkish Grand Prix that the attention of paparazzi photographers could drive him to seek sanctuary overseas.

"I'm definitely contemplating living outside the UK," said the rookie, who has taken the glamour sport by storm this season.

"I've always dreamt of living in London [Images] but it's becoming more and more difficult. Every time I go to London, cameras appear from God knows where."

"I can see from the experience of Fernando what can happen," continued Hamilton, referring to his Spanish double world champion team mate and rival Fernando Alonso [Images] who lives in Switzerland [Images].

"He's so big in Spain, he can't stay there because he can't go anywhere and live a normal life. I thought that wouldn't be the case in the UK."

Ferrari's [Images] Kimi Raikkonen [Images] and retired seven times world champion Michael Schumacher [Images] also live in Switzerland while Monaco has long been a favourite with Grand Prix drivers.

"When I was working my way up to Formula One, I was only thinking about getting a drive for a great team and racing," Hamilton said.

"I didn't think about the pros and cons, about the fact that you will pick up sponsors or that people will notice you more.

"It's all new and I'm trying to get used to it," added Hamilton, who leads Alonso by seven points in the standings with six races remaining.

The Briton, Formula One's first black driver and winner of three races in 11 starts, complained earlier in the week about media intrusion.

"My whole holiday was in the papers. I was trying to relax, but I couldn't swim, because the cameras were waiting to get 10,000 euros for the pictures," he said of a recent break in the Mediterranean.

"If I can't live a normal life and enjoy my life without being spread across the tabloids... we'll just have to wait and see. It's down to the media, really."

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