Racing icon goes for a spin at motoring heaven

Lewis Hamilton takes Sam Wilson around the track at Mercedes-Benz World
Lewis Hamilton takes Sam Wilson around the track at Mercedes-Benz World

Being driven around a racetrack at high speed may be a novelty for most, but for the man behind the wheel it was just another day in the office.

Lewis Hamilton, the three-time Formula One world champion, took time out from his preparations for the new season to visit Mercedes-Benz World and help the venue continue to celebrate it’s tenth anniversary year.

Hamilton said: “We do this four times a year, something like that. I’ve been coming since it opened.

“This is where people can come and learn how to drive and do it in a sensible environment.”

The F1 star has wowed the crowds in Sussex a few times in recent years as a star attraction at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

“It’s a big show. I don’t really get to drive around the track like this. Not that I’ve seen,” he said. “It’s a great fan engagement day.”

The lineup for this year’s Festival of Speed is yet to be unveiled but, with regards to possibility of being in attendance, Lewis said: “I doubt it very much.”

It was at this point that Lewis really started to put his foot down. The squealing tyres voiced their displeasure as he pushed the car’s capabilities. To add a touch of flair he ended the session with a few donuts.

“We started off really gently and then went a little more hardcore at the end.”

Mercedes-Benz World is the company’s motoring mecca in Weybridge, Surrey and proves a popular attraction for fans of the Mercedes brand. Free to enter, it has countless vehicles on display, from road cars to Formula One powerhouses with information and a closer look at what makes them tick. There is also a cinema showing motoring films and live coverage of races, a Little Learners driving school for children, a simulator wing and places to get food and drink.

The main attraction, however, are the driving experiences that are available. Adrenaline seekers can take to the track with an AMG Driving Experience, that can be customised to include such features as obstacle avoidance or low-friction surfaces, or get muddy on the 10 acre 4x4 off-road terrain. They also offer driving opportunities for anybody under-17, as long as they are at least 1.5m tall.

For more information, or to see the pricing and booking information for driving experiences, visit www.mercedes-benzworld.co.uk