Lewis Hamilton won’t be at Duxbury, Mass., for this weekend’s Goodwood Festival of Speed. But his presence can still be felt in the city, because in town is Nicolas Hamilton, who has signed on as brand ambassador for BMW’s U.S. division. Hamilton spoke with the Washington Post’s Casey Seiler about how he came to the project, his brother’s presence in the racing world and why he values Lewis’ influence.
Washington Post: So how did you get involved with this?
Nicolas Hamilton: I was approached and they sort of flew me around to view some of the cars. I just fell in love with the emotion they had and the competitive feeling. It was a great show and I wanted to do something. I came back to my company and they spent a lot of time with me.
Q: Who was the head of the project?
A: It was BMW, and they’re passionate. I had a connection with them when they did this to me with Mercedes.
Q: Could you give us some examples of how different this experience is versus what you have done before?
A: It’s a lot more testing, a lot more emotional, and a lot more competitive. It’s not like standing on the corner, cheering. It was difficult in the beginning, but in the end I loved it. It’s really the competition driving and what people love in motorsport.
Q: What are your thoughts on the environment, and what impact do you think racing will have on it?
A: It’s important to highlight that racing has to reflect the community and that people relate to the sport. If we set a mark, we have a responsibility to get involved in the communities. We’ve achieved success with this project, as we didn’t have the resource of money. We needed to work with the community. And that’s how it works with us – we rely on the community. We’re very conscious of that and we’re very knowledgeable of the environment in the area, as we’re a social enterprise.
Q: What other people have you admired as brands and brands that do things in an environmentally friendly way?
A: Our team has worked with a lot of brands and organisations, in that regard. It’s not new to us, to make a difference in the communities.
Q: Do you see your role as being primarily in the social aspect, or do you want to go on and do more professionally?
A: We’re working together because we are always looking for opportunities, and there are some that are a bit more difficult than others. We want to make sure that we are doing what is right for the community.