How Alpine junior Victor Martins is emulating Lewis Hamilton’s early career path

Sam Cooper
Victor Martins and Lewis Hamilton

Victor Martins and Lewis Hamilton

Alpine junior driver Victor Martins believes he has a lot in common with Lewis Hamilton in terms of how he is hoping to break into the sport.

Considering the costs involved with competing in lower series and karting, Formula 1 is often reserved for those with sponsors, those from wealthy families or those whose parents used to compete.

Lance Stroll’s father has a net worth of $3.6 billion, Lando Norris’ dad is worth £200 million and former driver Nicholas Latifi’s father was valued at $2.5 billion in 2022.

Hamilton is somewhat of an oddity then as he does not come from a wealthy background and his father, Anthony, worked multiple jobs just to ensure his son could compete.

Hamilton’s subsequent success, going on to become statistically the greatest driver of all-time, is an encouraging one for those of a similar background, including Alpine junior driver Martins.

The current F3 champion told Total-Motorsport.com that he wants to emulate the career path of Hamilton.

“Hamilton has always been the guy I’m watching but I didn’t have any like proper idols,” Martins said.

“How he has done his path to F1, his situation and how he started, I’m the same. I’m not from a wealthy background, so it was a difficult decision to start motorsport because of the budget and Hamilton has been a good example of [doing] that.”

Martins first joined the French team’s academy in January 2018 when it was the Renault Sport Academy but was dropped the following year. Alpine then reversed their decision after his 2020 Formula Renault Eurocup win.

Earlier this month, he took part in his first F1 test of the Alpine car in Monza.

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Who is in the Alpine Academy?

The Alpine Academy and the Renault Academy before it is second only to McLaren’s in terms of longevity having started in 2002 and over the years has nurtured names like Robert Kubica, Romain Grosjean and Heikki Kovalainen. Oscar Piastri is the latest graduate to emerge from the academy into an F1 seat.

As such, great expectation is placed on the drivers within it and some are hopeful that a career in F1 is in their future.

Alpine Academy 2023 line-up in full and their current series:

Jack Doohan – joined 2022 – FIA Formula 2 Championship
Victor Martins – joined 2021 – FIA Formula 2 Championship
Nikola Tsolov – joined 2022 – FIA Formula 3 Championship
Gabriele Mini – joined 2023 – FIA Formula 3 Championship
Matheus Ferreira – joined 2022 – Italian Formula 4 Championship
Abbi Pulling – joined 2022 – F1 Academy
Aiden Neate – joined 2023 – F4 British Championship, Formula Regional Middle East Championship
Kean Nakamura – joined 2022 – European Karting Championship