The Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix 2022 gets underway this weekend and fans are wondering why is Lewis Hamilton changing his name?
The seven-time world champion British F1 racing driver racing for Mercedes, has numerous trophies and titles under his name but any silverware that he earns this season is expected to be recorded under a new name - provided his name change goes ahead in time.
Lewis, 37, who hung out with Prince Harry at Silverstone back in 2020 before he quit the UK, has announced he is changing his name ahead of the new racing season but fans are wondering what it's all about...
Why is Lewis Hamilton changing his name?
Lewis Hamilton is changing his name to honour his mother's surname Larbalestier. The Formula 1 racing driver made the announcement at the 2022 Dubai Expo ahead of his attempt to win back the Formula 1 title from Red Bull racing driver Max Verstappen in Bahrain this weekend. Lewis confirmed that he is currently in the process of changing his name, as he expressed his views on women who lose their surnames after marriage.
He said, "I’m really proud of my family’s name, Hamilton. Actually, none of you might know that my mum’s [sur]name is Larbalestier. And I’m just about to put that in my name.
“Because I don’t really fully understand the whole idea of why, when people get married, the woman loses her name. I really want her name to continue on with the Hamilton name.”
When asked if the name change would take place ahead of this weekend's racing, Hamilton laughed. “It will be soon. No, I don’t know if it will be this weekend. But we’re working on it.”
Is Lewis Hamilton adopted?
Lewis Hamilton is not adopted but his parents, Carmen Larbalestier and Anthony Hamilton, separated when he was aged two - after which he lived with his mother Carmen and older half-sisters, Samantha and Nicola, until he was twelve years old. Lewis then moved in with his father Anthony, stepmother Linda and his half-brother Nicholas, who is also a professional racing driver.
Sir Lewis Carl Davidson Hamilton MBE was born and raised in Stevenage on 7th January 1985. His father is of Grenadian descent and his mother is White British.
He attended a voluntary aided Catholic secondary school, The John Henry Newman School in Stevenage and began go-karting in 1993 and joined the McLaren young driver programme in 1998 before making history as the youngest driver to win the British cadet karting championship at the age of 10.
Who is Lewis Hamilton’s mother?
Lewis Hamilton's real mother is Carmen Larbalestier. She separated from his father Anthony Hamilton when Lewis was just two years old. Lewis mostly grew up with his father and stepmother Linda but he has often spoken of his family bond in recent years.
The 66-year-old was notably alongside her son at the 2015 Mexican Grand Prix when the Englishman secured his third world title. He held a surprise 60th birthday part in London in 2015 for his mum, and singer Jessie J performed at the bash.
His mum attended Windsor Castle with him when he received his knighthood last December.
Speaking about his family's support of his career, Lewis previously said, "It started out as a hobby, something for me and my dad to go together, something we were both interested in. At one point, my dad had four jobs just to keep us karting. At night after work, he would be in the garage working on the kart. I mean, he gave up everything for me. But it was his support that made me feel like I could do anything."
He said he wouldn't be a world champion if it wasn't for his dad.
"He taught me that if you want something, you need to go after it and never give up," he added.
Lewis has spent time with his dad, meditating in the garden as they watched the sun rise. He uploaded a photograph which he captioned, "Meditation this morning with my Dad. Watching the sunrise. Taking a moment to be grateful for all we have achieved together."
Why is Lewis Hamilton number 44?
Lewis Hamilton is number 44 because it is his family's lucky number. "When I started racing when I was eight, the number plate on my dad's car – he had this red Cavalier – was F44. So he used 44 - it was his idea. And then it became the family lucky number,” he explained to PETRONAS Motorsports. Lewis kept his permanent number 44 after his title wins in 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020.
The Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix is held this weekend from Friday 18th to Sunday 20th March.