‘I’d be challenging Lewis Hamilton’ – Fellow multi-time champion reveals surprise ‘gift’ for racing

Jamie Woodhouse
Lewis Hamilton on a red carpet.

Lewis Hamilton.

Lewis Hamilton’s fellow seven-time champion of the world over in snooker, Ronnie O’Sullivan, is convinced that he would have had the talent to take the fight to Hamilton in Formula 1 had he not gone down that different sporting path.

Hamilton has established himself as statistically the greatest Formula 1 driver of all-time, matching Michael Schumacher for the most World titles won with seven, while holding outright records such as most wins, pole positions and podiums. But, could O’Sullivan have whittled down those stats if he picked motor racing over snooker?

Ronnie O’Sullivan teases Lewis Hamilton battle we never got to see

While Hamilton is chasing that eighth World title, O’Sullivan is currently doing the same as part of the 2024 World Snooker Championship, the often outspoken Brit suggesting Hamilton is lucky that he chose this sport and did not realise his “world champion” ability as a racer.

Asked by Eurosport what he would be doing had he not got into snooker, O’Sullivan replied: “I’d probably be challenging Lewis Hamilton, round a Formula 1 track, probably give him a good run for his money as well – because I’m a bit nifty in a car.

“I think I was actually gifted to be a good driver. I’d have definitely been a world champion at some sort of motorsport. I’ve no doubt about that.”

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O’Sullivan, like Hamilton, serves as a defining figure of his era in his sport, which brings with it a great deal of attention and pressure.

And when asked why he believes some members of the public have such a ‘fascination’ with him, O’Sullivan once again brought Hamilton’s name into it, including them in a group of sporting characters that have the “strong personality” needed to cope.

“I hope it’s just for the way I play snooker,” said O’Sullivan. “If it’s for my personality, I’m a normal guy, I’m an introvert. I think people think I’ll be quite loud, quite brash, but I’m not that sort of person.

“I think you have to be a strong character to get through what I have had to get through off the table, on the table, being in a competitive sport.

“Lewis Hamilton, Tyson Fury, must have a strong character. Lionel Messi must have a strong character.”

O’Sullivan most recently won the World Championship in 2022, while for Hamilton – without a race win since the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix – he has not tasted F1 title success since 2020.

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