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Success Stories Within The IDD Community: Nicolas Hamilton

Nicolas Hamilton is an English racing driver. He lives with cerebral palsy, but has not let that stop him from accomplishing his dreams. He has found ways to make modifications so he can achieve his goals.

Early Life:

Nicolas Hamilton was born on March 28, 1992, in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, England. He was diagnosed with cerebral palsy as a young child. When he was 18 months old, doctors told his parents that he would never walk and that his eyesight was poor and would only get worse. During his childhood, he experienced a lot of bullying. In an interview, Hamilton described that kids would bully him because of his disability and race. They would laugh at him and pull his wheelchair back. But, Hamilton did not let this push him down. 

When he would 17 years old, he underwent massive surgery to correct his legs so that he could walk. After the surgery, he spent many hours in physical therapy strengthening and training his legs. Today, he can not only walk unassisted, but he can also drive a race car.

“Motorsport gave me a purpose,” he says. “It gave me a reason to overcome my condition.”

Nicolas Hamilton

Career Success:

When he was 7 years old, Hamilton, his older brother, and his father went go-karting. This sparked Hamilton’s interest in race car driving. Hamilton drives an adapted race car, which allows him to use his arms more than his legs. His car has a hand clutch on the steering wheel, which operates like a foot pedal would. The accelerator and the brake pedals are wider and positioned in a way that doesn’t require Hamilton to stretch his legs. His seat was made specifically for his body. He is currently the only disabled driver in his league, but he is showing others that it is more than possible. 

In 2011, Hamilton made his debut in racing with the Renault Clio Cup United Kingdom. During this race, he drove for Team Total Control Racing. In 2013, he raced a SEAT León Supercopa for Team Baporo Motorsport in the European Touring Car Cup. In 2015, Hamilton signed a contract with Team AMD Tuning to drive an Audi S3 in five rounds of the British Touring Car Championship. Hamilton was the first disabled driver to race in this series. In 2019, Hamilton secured a full-time drive with Team Motorbase Performance. Most recently, in February 2020, Hamilton secured a spot on Team HARD. In a Volkswagen CC, Hamilton finished fifteenth in the series!

Current Day:

In 2019, Hamilton founded the UK’s first racing school for disabled drivers. It is called Team BRIT. Hamilton detailed the school’s mission to be “to give any disabled driver with a full UK driving license the chance to receive race coaching, mentoring or tuition.”

“I would love to see disabled people be able to access circuits and access the industry. Hopefully, through this academy, we can give people more opportunities, more happiness, more purpose.” 

Nicolas Hamilton

Be sure to check out our previous success story featuring Maysoon Zayid and a similar success story featuring Armani Williams!

Sources:

https://www.cnn.com/2020/10/08/motorsport/nicolas-hamilton-motorsports-tech-for-good-spc-intl/index.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicolas_Hamilton

https://www.nicolashamilton.com/the-driver

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/motorsport/formulaone/lewishamilton/8425208/Rookie-Nicolas-Hamilton-steals-limelight-despite-finishing-last-in-Renault-Clio-at-Brands-Hatch.html

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