Lewis Hamilton reveals the time he ‘thought it was all over’ in huge incident

Michelle Foster
Lewis Hamilton speaking in the press conference.

Lewis Hamilton is leaving Mercedes for Ferrari at the end of the year.

Despite being a Formula 1 driver who races at 350 km/h, it was a surfing accident and not a racing crash that had Lewis Hamilton thinking “it’s all over”.

Lewis Hamilton has recorded several big crashes during his time in Formula 1, most notably at the 2007 European Grand Prix, 2012 Belgian Grand Prix and more recently at the 2021 Italian race.

Lewis Hamilton: That for me was like: ‘it’s over, it’s all over’

Contesting his debut season back in 2007, Hamilton was airlifted to hospital for precautionary checks when he crashed into the barrier at 280 km/h during qualifying after his right front tyre burst, leaving him as a mere passenger.

A few years later he was one of the drivers caught up in Romain Grosjean’s crash at the start of the Belgian Grand Prix, Hamilton was sent nose-first into rival drivers, pitching the nose of his McLaren into the air before coming down hard.

The more recent of his three big crashes was in Italy in 2021 as he battled Max Verstappen for the World title, the two were involved in a crash that had the Red Bull driver’s RB16B landing on Hamilton’s Halo.

And yet it was a surfing accident that had the seven-time World Champion thinking this is how it ends.

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Catching waves with surfing legend Kelly Slater at the Pipeline, which is billed as the ‘one of the most complicated breaks in the world with multiple take off points all breaking over a razor-sharp reef’ by American Surf Magazine, Slater warned Hamilton he was heading towards trouble.

The Briton, though, still paddled towards the waves only for things to go horribly wrong.

“The biggest wipeout I had I was with Kelly Slater, on Pipeline,” he revealed on the Hot Ones.

“It was like 20ft waves and Kelly was like ‘there’s no way you’re coming out there. You’re crazy.’

“As I started to try to paddle in I got sucked into the ‘kill zone’ basically.

“So I got sucked in, and I turn around and see this set of four waves coming and that for me was like: ‘it’s over, it’s all over’.

“As I threw my board, I dove down and grabbed the reef and I could hear this wave crash behind me. My board got ripped off and snapped in half.

“I came back up, obviously gasping for air and the next one was coming so back down, grabbed the reef again as another wave comes over. So I did that three times.

“I got up, I’d nearly run out of air. I’d nearly drowned but managed to swim back from there.

“But after that I was ‘Okay, massive props to these surfers’.”

The seven-time World Champion remains an avid surfer having had his first surf lessons at the Wadi Adventure wave pool in Abu Dhabi in 2014.

He took to social media back then to say: “These waves are amazing, but the best thing is no sharks! No chance of getting my ass bit!”

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