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Watches, wine and Nintendo: How Lewis Hamilton lives a rich life

As he celebrates his 35th birthday, we asked the Formula One World Champion — and highest paid sportsman in the UK — how he spends his time off the track

You’ve probably heard of him. And, if you blink, you’ll probably miss him. As the most successful racing car driver in British history, with six world championships under his belt so far, Lewis Hamilton is the unrivalled king of modern British sport.

But, though we know all about his driving credentials, we wanted to find out who Lewis Hamilton is when he’s not behind the wheel. He spends most of his time in the billionaires’ playground that is Monaco — a far cry from his childhood home of Stevenage — but how does Hamilton live his life away from the chequered flag?

What is your favourite holiday destination?

While Hamilton gets to travel the world for his job, he spends most of his time at the track fine-tuning his car for the conditions of each specific race. But, after the final flag has fallen and the season is over, where does he like to get away from it all?

"In the winter, I like mountains and in the summer, I like the beach..."

“I would say the mountains. Well, it depends. In the winter, I like mountains and in the summer, I like the beach. So you can’t have one or the other. You have to have both.”

What’s the best purchase you’ve made for under £100?

Hamilton famously owns some incredibly expensive cars, including two of the same Mercedes AMG Projects — worth a cool £2.2 million each. One was for him to keep, the other to fit to his dad. But what’s the best buy Hamilton’s ever made at the other end of the price spectrum?

“Under £100?” he says. “Hmmm. I just recently got a Nintendo, that was £80.” A real nostalgia machine, Hamilton has sought out not only the console, but also a range of retro games to play on it.

Watches, wine and Nintendo: How Lewis Hamilton lives a rich life

What’s your favourite car to drive off the track?

While we all know Hamilton gets to drive one of the fastest cars in the world around a track every week, we figured that his daily shopper must be rather impressive as well. Unlikely to be a nippy hatchback or family minivan, we weren’t disappointed by his V8 answer: “I have a 1967 Shelby Cobra 427.”

What’s your favourite watch?

If you’ve ever seen Hamilton in a press conference or interview after a race, you’ll have noticed the range of incredible watches he wears. It also helps that the sportsman is an ambassador for IWC, so has a near-endless supply of beautiful, meticulously-made timepieces. But which is his favourite?

“I usually wear the IWC Big Pilot,” he says. “IWC has them in lots of different colours, and that’s kind of my go-to piece right now.”

Watches, wine and Nintendo: How Lewis Hamilton lives a rich life

What’s your go-to bottle of wine?

While he won’t be pouring a glass before he takes to the track — this isn’t the 60s anymore — enjoying a tipple at the end of a long 200mph day is probably the best way to unwind. But, with almost any bottle falling within Hamilton’s price range, which does he uncork most often?

“A 1996 Chateau Palmer,” he reveals. “Or maybe or a Sassicaia.”

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