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Home > Sports > Formula One > Reuters > Report


Hamilton may leave Britain to protect his privacy

June 22, 2007 11:26 IST

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Formula One championship leader Lewis Hamilton [Images] has recognised that he may have to leave Britain to protect his privacy amid a surge of interest in his sensational debut.

The McLaren rookie said his preference would be to stay in England [Images], where his family and friends live, but that this could become impossible due to the attention he has had since his first race wins this month.

"It's just getting worse and worse," he said at the launch of Vodafone Mobile Internet on Thursday.

Asked about comments by McLaren team principal Ron Dennis that the youngster may have to relocate, Hamilton said: "When you don't have any privacy, it's going to be extremely tough, so it might be something I have to do."

A crush of photographers camped outside Hamilton's family house earlier this season and although the 22-year-old said the media had since backed off, he is recognised whenever he ventures out.

"It's just people noticing me in the streets. I'm struggling to go around without someone noticing me," said Formula One's first black driver.

Many of his rivals, including Britons Jenson Button [Images] and David Coulthard, live in Monaco while others prefer Switzerland [Images].

England cricketer Kevin Pietersen [Images], at the same event as Hamilton, advised the driver to ignore the media attention and other distractions to stay level-headed and focused on the task at hand.

"Make sure nothing gets in the way, none of these events, the nights out, the parties," Pietersen told Hamilton. "Don't let any of the nonsense get in the way of your preparation because preparation is the key to all success."

The cricketer also added a warning: "It's going to get a lot worse and its going to get a lot bigger than I'll ever, ever know, mate."

© Copyright 2007 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.
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