David Coulthard: Why does Lewis Hamilton needs a paddock bodyguard with him?

Thomas Maher
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 driver, in the paddock at the 2023 Monaco Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 driver, in the paddock at the 2023 Monaco Grand Prix.

David Coulthard has joked about why Lewis Hamilton feels the need to have paddock protection in the form of a bodyguard.

Lewis Hamilton is well-known for having an entourage around him at most Grand Prix weekends, with the British driver also choosing to have bodyguards around him at the racetrack – often including them even while in the working environment of the paddock.

It’s led David Coulthard to question what kind of danger Hamilton feels he needs to guard himself from, given that the amount of people who could approach him in the paddock is relatively limited.

David Coulthard: What kind of danger does Lewis Hamilton feel he’s in?

Appearing on the Formula For Success podcast with former F1 team boss Eddie Jordan, the duo chatted about how the current generation of F1 drivers appear to get along very well – the younger generation of drivers such as Lando Norris, George Russell, Charles Leclerc, Max Verstappen, and Alex Albon all appearing to be genuinely friendly with each other despite their hard racing.

It led Coulthard to point out that Hamilton’s approach to paddock life couldn’t be more in the opposite direction, with the British driver choosing to somewhat isolate himself with his own crew.

“I think there’s a group of young drivers right now that seem to relate to each other,” Coulthard said.

“The only, I guess, outlier would really be Lewis, maybe it’s because Lewis has been around for longer.

“He’s the only driver who has actually a security man that works with him at the track. I don’t know what danger he feels he might be in.

“Somebody coming up and asking for an autograph? But, other than that, there does seem to be… you see quite a lot of the younger guys, your Georges, your Landos, and whoever else, hanging out with each other away from the racetrack.”

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Jordan chose to stick up for Hamilton’s approach, saying the seven-time World Champion’s embracing of the limelight in Formula 1, together with his success, means he is far more likely to be swarmed over than some of the other drivers.

“You’ve got to give Lewis some credit,” he said.

“Because he is still the most revered driver in Formula 1 at the moment. I know we talk about Max, but Max is a much more laid-back kind of guy.

“Whereas Lewis, he’s front of house – he’s box office, top class.”

Aside from Hamilton’s profile, Jordan also said it’s rare to hear Hamilton ever say anything negative about any of the other drivers.

“I think full marks to Lewis because, in any of the interviews, he’ll always give credit to the other drivers around him,” he said.

“He’ll always credit them. You never hear him fall out with Russell or any of the other guys even if there is conflict or if there’s touching… Of course, recently, he did have trouble with [Fernando] Alonso. But that seems to have mended its ways.”

Jordan’s observation led Coulthard to say: “I think that’s coming more from Fernando, more than Lewis!”

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