Hamilton’s brother to make racing debut

British star Lewis Hamilton’s assault on the Formula 1 world championship is only one race old, but he is already taking a break for the sake of his family, The (London) Times reported Tuesday.

The 26-year-old will travel this weekend to Kent, England, to watch his younger brother Nicolas step on to the racetrack in his own right as a driver.

Hamilton is devoted to his brother, who suffers from cerebral palsy, and wants to be at the Brands Hatch circuit for Nicolas’ first competitive race in the Renault Clio Cup, a saloon car series in which drivers use the same make of car. It is a breeding ground for drivers for the British Touring Car Championship.

But that means flying from Australia to Malaysia for a week of training before the grand prix in Kuala Lumpur on April 10, with a dash by jumbo jet to Britain in between. Hamilton knows he risks interrupting a season that started with a second place in Melbourne.

"Me and my brother are close," he said. "Everyone has their situations in life, but it has been tough for him. I am the closest person who can understand what he has been through because I am the closest person to him. But even I cannot comprehend what it must have been like to have the difficulties he has had. And now he gets to have the opportunity to live the dream himself.

"Me and my dad will be there. I am going to be training hard in Kuala Lumpur in the heat. And then, unfortunately for my preparations at least, I can’t miss my brother’s first race. I can sleep on the flight. I can still stay in the time zone. I’ll just be training and drinking a lot of water."

Nicolas Hamilton will compete for Total Control Racing (TCR) in the Renault Clio Cup. The TCR engineers have needed to extend the accelerator and brake pedals to allow for his cerebral palsy and replaced the clutch with a button on the steering wheel.