No worries about Lewis' party lifestyle

Former F1 driver David Coulthard is now an ambassador for UBS as well as an F1 commentator for the BBC.
Former F1 driver David Coulthard is now an ambassador for UBS as well as an F1 commentator for the BBC.ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

Lewis Hamilton's rock-and-roll lifestyle has dominated headlines as much as his unstoppable streak in the Formula One World Championship this season.

But former F1 driver David Coulthard, who was himself in a number of high-profile relationships, believes the hectic lifestyle - one of celebrity parties and front-row seats at gala events - will not cause his fellow Briton to go off the rails.

Coulthard, 44, who is married with a son and step-daughter, told The Straits Times: "I don't think it's (impeding him). In life, there are always distractions.

"What he's doing is living a lifestyle which he's dreamt of. He's worked hard to get to that position, and he's enjoying it.

"The paparazzi doesn't affect you, because you know where you're going, you have a focus, you're driven towards a certain goal."

Hamilton, a two-time world champion, has all to aim for this weekend. A win tomorrow will put him joint-third on the all-time list with Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel (41) and trailing only legends Michael Schumacher (91) and Alain Prost (51).

And Coulthard, who has 13 race wins from a 14-year career, believes Hamilton, who leads the drivers' standings by 53 points with six races left, is set to dominate the sport in the next few years.

However, the BBC F1 commentator is not worried that Mercedes' and Hamilton's dominance will erode interest in the sport.

Having competed in an era when Schumacher won five straight titles from 2000 to 2004, he said: "We know Mercedes will win the world championship, and we expect it to be Lewis... but that's the game.

"History would suggest that no one stays at the top forever... the others will catch up. "

Coulthard, who achieved a career-best second-place championship finish in 2001, was speaking on the sidelines of a UBS event. He is the Swiss bank's ambassador for F1, one of the many roles he has taken up since retiring in 2008. The Scot is also a newspaper columnist, an investor and in 2010 co-founded a production company called Whisper.

But perhaps his favourite role now is that of dad. Recalling the time he spent shooting a video for UBS in his London apartment, the Monaco-based Coulthard said: "My son wasn't there. He was in Monaco, and I was thinking, 'David you're flying off again, you should be there playing football'."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 19, 2015, with the headline 'No worries about Lewis' party lifestyle'. Print Edition | Subscribe