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tv   Charlie Rose  PBS  September 2, 2016 12:00am-1:01am PDT

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>> welcome to the program, tonight we spend an hour with formula one's lewis hamilton am i spent time with the racing champion last year. >> whenever i'm behind the wheel, that's where i feel i belong. i would never be the most quf dent person outside the car. i was never the -- person, very, very shy and tim i had. and but when i get in the car, put my helmet on, it's the one, was the one place that i knew that my dad was really proud of me. >> rose: lewis hamilton for the hour next. >> funding for charlie rose is provided by the >> rose: funding for "charlie rose" has been provided by the following:
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captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. you were at your best when you're challenged. >> yeah. >> rose: set the scene for me, what would make a really invigorating, challenging race for you. >> so inveighing-- well, challenging races are generally when, where i started when i was yowker, we didn't have the best equipment. our cart was like-- we would start at the back of the grid and in the race i would just pick off people one by one and make my way through the group. so that's generally how i learned to overtake, became one of the best from starting in the back of the so then when i get to formula one, when i have had races where i have had to start at the back and had to come
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through, there are races where i started 20th or 18th and come through. those to me are the most exciting races because having to approach a different driver every time and it's like playing chess with a different person, each time you get to them, they have different character stks, you will find one driver is a bit crazy. >> who would that be. >> some drivers make their cars as wide as the road. some drivers that are more prone to accidents, more drivers are hider-- hard e some are easier, some are faster, some faster. knowing which one you are coming up against and how to pick them off. >> rose: some argue that now there is more technology than there's ever been and so it takes some of the skill out of the driver's hands. is that true? >> the reason people would say that, most of the comments that are made about formula one, people are generally-- i think
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perhaps unequipped, don't have the knowledge of what is actually going on. it's different. we do have a lot of technology. we have to operate that technology is another task in itself. so i wouldn't say there there is-- it's less challenging for a driver. you would have to learn today in terms of all the switches and mechanics that we have on the car, if anything, it's approximate more challenging in the sense of, back then perhaps it was maybe a little bit more physical, maybe. so they say. but today it's a lot faster. so maybe we have a lot more going on at the steering wheel, a lot more controls, a lot more aids in terms of balancing the car throughout the race where back then they didn't have that. but we don't have a manual gear box. so i wouldn't say it's the case. i think it's more mental today than perhaps in the past. >> rose: but you would prefer, don't you sometimes want to go back when there was no tip. >> i'm more old schoolk i want manual.
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if i have a car, i like a manual car. >> rose: have i seen that first hand. >> and i drove essence car from 8 they and it had the manual gear box and i had this way. >> rose: if you could make this happen, if you could just be in a race with him, ie you know, those cars at that time. >> same car. >> same car, yeah, it has great. >> rose: what would that be. >> i think for me, all i can really relate it to is when i got to formula one after watching michael for those years an on track with him on a test day and i was behind him at one moint and i'm like oh my god, that is michael shoe macker. i'm driverk behind him, i don't want to overtake him, i was quicker than him at the time. i am just going to enjoy being behind him. i would imagine if i had absolutely, just be happy to be
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behind-- . >> rose: but why is it a hero rather than michael, and michael won seven, seven. you within three. you will win three if you win this year. >> uh-huh. >> rose: he is the guy you want to beat. >> definitely. there have been lots of different champions along the way. but as a kid, he was the first guy that i noticed. the one that caught my eye when i was like five years old, watching the races on the weekends with my dad. and i started to follow him. started to really focus and started to watch his videos. i guess just like any, it's like any kid, be it a football player or an athlete. show they magnetize. and that was how it was with their team. i just followed him and loved the way he drove. i loved his skill, his aggressive style.
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i loved how he stood up for things he thought were right. and i believe that he was right in a lot of ways. things he was fighting against. it's a cool balance, cool approach . >> when michael won seven world championships as you said. but it was in a period of time where raleigh dominated. it was also times where his teammate gave him the win. >> rose: they laid back. >> huh? >> rose: they would lay back. >> no, for example,-- would be leading the race, he had done a better job that weekend and just before the finish line, he has to let michael pass. >> rose: he would lay back. >> i don't agree with that. i think, i don't-- we're a team and teammates but you have two championships. you have krukers championship which you both have to work towards to help the team win and at the end you want to be the winning driver. i feel he had the better of him in many scenarios and had to always give it up.
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even if he didn't, the team disadvantaged him. so i don't-- . >> rose: so niko was in front of you, he wouldn't give it up. >> no, and i would never, ever, ever, ever want that. >> rose: you wouldn't want that. >> i want to earn it because i'm better, not because i was told by somebody to let me by. if i beat me, i know i have to be bet are, suck it up and liver to fietd another day. i think tor for me it would be soul destroying. first i know it would be soul destroying for the other driver but for me to know i won by having it given to me. >> rose: because you believe you are the best driver in formula one and you believe you have the best car in formula one. >> i think it's not just that. it's tte surest one and the belief you have in yourself. but the hard work. the work ethic. i don't want to have it easy. i want to work for my-- i want to be recognized if i am recognized as the best. i want to be recognized as the best because of the way i
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overtake, the way i drive the car, the way i do something different than any other driver does. >> rose: one year after you joined formula one you became the world champion. >> yeah. >> rose: one year. rose: okay, two years but then you didn't win for awhile. >> i didn't. well most drivers get to formula one usually come in in the lower team. but i was-- when i was 13 and the stressful pressure on us as a family, we had to perform every single weekend. we had to get those results. we had to win the championship. all the different strat giezed moves, the different classes, i had to be, and the way we came across, the way we weren'ted ourselves, we were the only black family. there and also we were representing mcclaren. we every time there is a report going back to mcclar en, we want it to be a good report. easy going, they work hard, we
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wanted to have that image. >> rose: the family did. >> yeah. my dad, absolutely. so that's what we really worked on. and then i won the championship in gp2 in the first year. and i knew that year that there was a seat moving, at mclaren. i was like i have to win, because if i win they won't make me stay a secretary year. i can go to formula one. if there is a seat available, i mile get it i won the championship. they gave me a chance and i knew i had a test coming up, i was training like crazy. studying the manual. but nothing can really prepare you for when you sit in the garage. >> it is like an orchestra how they move before you leave the garage. when you leave knowing you are driving a multimillion dollar car and if you crash it, it will cost a lot of money. and they might not give you noir chance, it's scary. >> rose: you mentioned how competitive it was for you.
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when did you know, though, that you prpb like the other kids even in go cart, that you had something, as you went from 15th, to first and passed them all. that was skill because you didn't have the best car. >> i don't really know. i think as i kid i just did it, i just did it it's what i loved doing. and. >> rose: but did you think you had the best skill then? >> no. >> rose: was there a moment you knew that i can do this bns no, i think. >> whenever i'm behind the wheel, that's where i feel i belong. you know, i would never be the most confident person outside the car. i was never a outspoken person. very, very shy and tim i had but when i get in the car, put my helmet on, it's the one place i knew my dad was really proud of me. at school particularly when i was go carting, i was missing
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days at school and trying to catch up always. but i just struggled so much to catch up. having extra lessons and all these things but i couldn't keep up with the workload, especially when i was missing a thursday and a friday. so i missed half the curriculum every year. and but i knew that as long as i performed on the track, i know i've got to get good grades and good results and good reports as much as i can. but i know if my perform well my dad will have a smile on his face. >> rose: but now that you performed so well in the car, in the cockpit, has it given you confidence in other areas of your life? >> i think so. i think with age i've definitely, obviously, gained the kfer dense outside. but when i got to formula one, i was never prepared for interviews like this or for tv. i was throwning curve balls at awe and i had no way of how to bat it back. and i have disefl fell down lots
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of rabbit holes along the way. but it has been a learning process and through the hard way. >> rose: isn't it true during the first year that you were there, first year you were there, that you kept placing in first, second or third. and so finally when you didn't place first, second or third you didn't know where to go because you always had been going to the podium where you would be recognized. >> no. >> rose: not true. >> not true, no. i had grown up being further behind, i'm not always been at the front. there's been years where we had difficult years and have been behind it wasn't really the casement but the first year was-- the first year i'm at mclaren, two-time world champion, just won 2006, 2007, number one car, nom two, and i remember testing, just studying, studying, i have to make sure that i show am going to match this guy. i believe in myself that i'm
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somewhere in this thing to keep up and beat this guy. so and then before the first race ron said in his office, he was like, you know, you've got to expect, and don't be surprised if you are half a second behind fer nabbedo in the first race. you done know what that did to me inside. >> rose: what did it do to you. >> it just boiled me inside. because he obviously-- not undervalued me because he obviously gave me the role. but he was not expecting me to be able to answer to his special new guy. and so-- . >> rose: he said you expect to be beaten. >> yeah, yeah. and so. >> rose: and your life had not been about expecting to be beaten. >> no, no, so i trained like crazy. i prepared. he did beat me in qualifying and did beat me in the first race. but i finished just behind him. and after that, i think i beat him the-- no, i didn't-- i think maybe the third race i beat him. and then i beat him in the
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championship, my rookie year. you know,. >> rose: you won the championship your rookie year or second year. >> i lost it by one point. i was leading the championship by 17 points, in the second race and then i had a big disastrous-- just lost me a lot of points, ten points in. last race my car just broke down. so i lost it by one point. but i won it the secretary year by one point. >> rose: that can crush you though. >> it really did. >> rose: being so close and then to. >> it really did. it destroyed me. >> rose: destroyed you. >> yeah, mentally, that was probably the biggest knock that i had ever taken. in one sense you have to remember it's my first year. so but then the pressure was just unbelievable. the pressure i put on myself is the biggest. i definitely put way too much pressure on myself at the time but i had pressure from my dad, i had pressure from my team, from expectations, not
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delivering. i had not been in this position, and this was my dream since i was a kid. and i started to fumble. just. >> and i take it so personally, the pain that i felt in my heart was just unbearable. you get out of the car and you are in front of cameras. and you forget that behind this camera there are a million people watching what you are saying. so at the time, i wasn't prepared to, suck it up, put on a good show. i show, i wear my heart on my sleeve. so it bas really tough. and the next year, in the last race, i had to finish fifth to win the championship. and i was-- i felt a sixth and the guy was right in front of me. he was right ahead of me but there was nothing i could do to get closer to him. and the laps, you know, five laps, three laps, four lap, three laps left. and i couldn't do anything.
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for the life of me to save my life. and then but it had been raining and someone put tires on which was a miss take ahead of me. and i overtook him in the last corner. i came across the line thinking i had lost the championship. so my heart was, again, exactly the same as the previous year. and then it came on the radio, like 10, 15 seconds later and said you're world champion. and i just burst into tears. >> rose: but that was what you dreamed about since you were what, five or six years old. >> yeah. >> rose: that was it. >> yeah. >> rose: and you knew earlier you wanted to win. you wanted to be a world champion. >> it was in brazil. so it was his country as well. so it was-- biggest climb axe for me. >> rose: you know why you had this dream, other than the fact that in the go cart you were good. and you were coming from behind to win. and you and your family had put it together. everybody sacrificed for you to be there. and you sacrificed.
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>> yeah. >> rose: most of all. >> yeah. and you had the dream, you dreamed being number one, being the world formula one champion. you dreamed of yourself. >> well, everyone has dreams. you know, everyone has dreams. >> rose: but you pursued this with a. >> i did, but i was very, very fortunate. yeah. i had my family. i have got friends that i grew up with. and other people around. started new families. my dad stuck around, you know. he hung around. >> rose: more than that, he gave you everything he could possibly give you. >> absolutely. and obviously some fathers do that. but what he did for me, i can never pay him back. if there is anything i can do is make sure that every time i'm in the car today with the opportunity that he's helped create and give me, i've got to grab it with both hands and never take it for granted.
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>> rose: was it your family that gave you the really good-- that you have. >> well, my dad was-- he with went to church a lot. until i was about eight or nine and then i was racing every weekend so we missed church a lot. other than that, pie dad didn't really push it on us. i think i really found it myself. and it became really the, my exas, my guiding tool to help me be and do what i am doing today. >> rose: but you are very candid and honest guy, who understands yourself. i mean it came a point in which you had to make a break from your father. >> yes. that was one of the hardest moments ever. and my dad had brch managing me through my whole life. and i could never have a better manager than my dad. the reason being is that he knows what we've been through. he knows our values as a family.
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and values mean more than anybody in the whole world. so when it comes to presenting your client, he it is all with heart. and also knowledge, is where the majority of managers, there is an incentive which is to make money. but this was just all about our dream. and what we had been working for. but there was a point, i was 23, 23, 24 years old. i had moved to a country in switzerland which my dad-- and i was lonely there. i was in a period of time where i moved out. i was living on my own. i make my own money. i need to make my own, my next decisions. i need to make my own. i need to make my own mistakes so i can grow as a man. and think if my dad would continue to manage me still
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today, the way that it was controlled, i wouldn't have been able to do that growing, go through that growth, make the mistakes. and i really had to do it. and it started getting difficult because it had gone from being father son relationship to, you know, a business relationship. and so there is no-- hey dad, let's chill, let's watch tv. it was all work, work, work, work. so i missed that. so there was a point where dad, i just want you to be my dad. come to the races and just be proud. ity's make you proud. and that was incredibly hard for him to take and hard for me to be able to do it, and to break away. it had to be a hard break at the time. and it took years for us to recover. absolutely years, so the following years were just difficult for the family. it kind of destroyed the family a little bit because all my dad had lived and breathed for so
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many years, it was like what do i do now. you don't need me. it's not that i don't need you. it's just that you have brought me up to be-- . >> rose: you wanted some sense of living your own life and being in control of your own life. >> and making my own decisions and make my own mistakes. as a parent, you would say don't do that. cuz i know what it's like. i've been there. as i would say to my cousins, for example, don't do that because trust me, i've done itment but in some ways, it's good to a point in your life but at some stage you need to make those decisions and learn yourselves as your parents would have done. >> rose: howard hard was it for him to take it. >> i can't really put into words how difficult it was for him, or it must have been for him. and he didn't take it well. and i don't think he knew how to take it. that bridged a gap between us that was like the grand canyon. and it was hard for us to-- he is a very proud man. and. >> rose: this was his dream.
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>> and us hamiltons are super stubborn, super, super stubborn. i'm not coming to you, you are not coming to me. we will keep this distance. and it took awhile am but i'm very much more of a giving in person. so i spent the next year trying to go around and try to spend a lot of time together and, christmas. but it was just, it was like rebuilding a house from the first brick. >> rose: rebuild a relationship. >> yeah. >> rose: did your racing did it affect your racing? >> absolutely, yeah. i think the biggest, the one-year that was the worst was 2011. just lost a lot of weight, stress, you know, emotional. and you know in the sport you have to have a level head. you have to be focused all the time, it is a long, long season from testing if february until the last race at the end of november, so staying on point the whole way without losing focus, without losing your way,
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i lost my w big time. i had no idea. >> rose: and he must have looked at this and said look, i'm not there, and look what is happening to him. >> absolutely, absolutely. >> rose: see what happens if i'm not there, you need me. >> exactly. on many, many occasions. and then let me help. and i will be like no. as difficult as it is, i have got to go through this. if i don't find my own way, i know the worst-case scenario, you're there for me. but have i to do this, as horrible as it. is and i did. and eventually in 2012, finally got my head in gear and hi the best year up until then, since 2008. i nearly won, i should have won the championship, but the car kept failing when i was leading races, basically. and then 2013, i moved to mer ed es. mercedes. >> and how did you get back together with him, where is it today? >> today it's always lingering
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around us, the whole thing. i don't know if my dad ever really got over the whole thing. still he wants to be in kind of manage. but last year he came to six races. and he was incredibly supportive. he came to i think the first one with silverstone which i had a really difficult day, qualifying i made a mistake and i went and stayed at the house. he came and gave me advice and helped me get through it. came to the races the next day. after that he came to a few races and the last race of the year when we won the campionship together. and it was really to the point where i had to go around and had dinner, and just relax and feel good. and we have been spending christmases together. it's good, much, much belter. >> rose: not perfect but much better. >> not perfect, yeah. >> rose: he said to me, he was painful, you told him i don't want you to come to the race at one point. you really needed to be your own
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man. >> yeah. >> rose: you needed to fully live the life that you wanted to lead. and because he was playing this dual role, not only father but manager, partner. >> yeah. >> rose: and then not only was living your dream, he was living his dream. because his dream was your dream. >> absolutely. >> rose: and then to be told, i don't want you to race. i can't imagine. >> i wouldn't know what that feels like until maybe i have kids mooned my kid tells me something like that. but yeah, it was hard, i think, to tell him that. but whether it was right or wrong, i did it. and the whole point, the whole thing of standing on your own two feet. it had been a family business for years. we would ride t was me. we were a solid unit. nothing could break us. no one could break us from the outside. but we are good. dad is the darkest dudeily.
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in the whole paddock. but we, i don't know if anyone-- have you seen cool running? >> rose: yes. >> so cool runnings is my favorite movie. and when they arrived, the first jamaican bobsled team ever. when they arrived on the scene on the day to do the practice, the whole paddock goes quiet. everybody is like what are these people doing here. and that is how it really was for me and my dad. we would arrive. the cart was hanging out the boot so we didn't have a trailer. we didn't have all the equipment that people had. we just had this really bad bent cart in the back of the boot hanging out. and like, and we would turn up and people were like what are these, exactly like that movie, if you have not seen it, when they pull up, the rugged old bobsled that is just rusty, things are falling off it.
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they don't have the outfits. >> rose: that the way it was for you. >> that is how how it was for u, you know. it was funny. it was just funny. people didn't really want us there at the beginning. but and then with the kids on the track, you get pushed off, hunted off just for no reason. >> rose: your dad told me stories if go cart wrses people were coming to you saying you are not supposed to win. >> yeah, i mean i had parents come to me. other drivers' parent was come up to me and say you don't belong here. go back. to wherever you came from. and then parent was come up to me and say you just don't have it. you know, you just don't have it. and that kid was terrible. their kid sucked so much. but an as a kid, i was just-- as a kid i was just, i don't know, i was eight years old. i didn't know. >> rose: so what does it say about you that you survived all that and became the world
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champion. >> i don't know, i think we as human beings, we harness, we harness energy without even realizing it and whether it's good or bad. i think i harnessed all those experiences and that school, you know, when the teachers were neck tiff and those parents, i just kept it bottled insiesmed and i used it on the track. pi dad would always say, because the kid would push me off the track and i would have aggression. i want to go and push that guy over, or you know, kick him in the ear or kick him or something. and he without say do it on the track. just don't say anything, just keep it on the track. that applied to everything. so i get on the track and drive the wheels offer the car. he used to say, he is the second driver-- the first go cart was like-- a four poster bed, it was just terrible.
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however he went to a du y store and repainted the whole thing and made it look brand new. put so much effort into it. as he did with everything. the remote control cars he would sit there after work, after long long days of work and sit there and make-- took such pride in his work. and put pie go cart together, spent hours in the shed. we are sleeping, he is welding the car. i don't know what came across him. but he came-- or came over him, but he enjoyed it. he would spend the wol night in the garage. >> at that time you needed his protection. you needed his presence, you needed him to be there. >> yeah. >> rose: if he hadn't been en an even rougher road for have you. >> definitely. and i needed him in the beginning. when i got to formula one. because i fell hard. the championship i lost in 2007, i fell hard and my family was always there. and still today, you know, still there. family is still there. it is different now. >> rose: you are more of your own man.
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and you have livered the kind of life that you had missed being independent. >> yes most kids that i was growing up with, they were doing the weekend, bowling, dating, whatever it might be. every weekend i was racing. so i didn't do that. i was around grownups the whole time. >> you came to have relationships with women later in your life. >> yes. i didn't have my first girlfriend until 19, and then went straight into a long relationship. >> rose: so you have been how would you describe, you went right into a long relationship without having a relationship at all. >> i have only had two relationships. i was in that one for four years. and then i fell head over heels for another girl. and after that relationship ended, and then i was in that one for nearly eight years. >> rose: so you know, you saw the movie rush. >> yes. >> rose: you know nikki well.
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>> yes. nikki is one of pies abouts but he is like, he las been there. >> rose: yeah. he knows what it is like. he knows the prshure. he knows the distractions. >> yes. >> rose: he knows everything there is to know when are you the world champion. but at the same time he's very wary of distraks as you know. >> yeah. >> he wants lewis only to be thinking about the right. >> of course. and he said that to me. i worried about him being distracted. >> yes, definitely. >> you have got to imagine, for nikki is a strange relationship we've had. because we-- he, we had not really met other than shaking each other's hands in the 2010, 2011. and i was driving for nor team. he didn't have a great opinion about my. he didn't know me he didn't really understand me. he disn believe what i was doing
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was right, and the decisions i was making. >> rose: it should be pointed out this was during the years were you not at your best. >> absolutely. >> rose: he had reason to have some doubt. because you had won the world championship and then had a fall owe period. >> yes. i was making mistakes. but he-- at the end of 2012, we had been on the phone together. he's like, we need you. says let me come meet you. >> rose: mercedes needs you. we want you in the car. >> rose: it was their idea. >> yeah. >> rose: you were at mclaren and mercedes who had not been doing well. >> no like the fifth best team at the time. re doing well. down but wewas we were getting stronger. just very much baby steps. 2012 was our best year until that point. we had just come back. >> rose: mclaren. >> yeah. >> rose: and then you switched. >> yeah. i met nuki and.s with nikki. >> rose: he's responsible for
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you coming to mercedes in part? >> he's partly. there is a lot of comments saying that nikki was the reason that i came to the team. it's not entirely true. nikki was the first kfertionz that i had but ross brawn who had a team, it was ross brawn, it was his baby at the time when he came he met me at my mom's house. ross had won world championships with michael. >> right. >> he helped him achieve the championship. and he came had a cup of trea in my mom's kitchen. and showed a proposal of where the team is. and where they are going. and the steps they are going to take to get there so i could have stayed at mclaren, making good money, good environment, with family, been there for
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years. nowhere else you want to go. but if i really want to test myself as a driver, i've got to drive a different car for another team. win a championship race for laren. laren has had world championships, top drivers for years. so if i'm not just another driver, i kind of am. i want to go somewhere else to prove myself. so i could stay for the short term, maybe another championship in 2013. or can i go somewhere else and be a part of the growth. >> right. >> and like michael, ferrari, he went through a bad period with them. and helped them to be successful. and i wanted to have-- i wanted to have that. i wanted to get that experience. ngle person was like the worstry thing you could do. >> yes. career is over, worst decision. >> rose: you've lost your mind. >> mclar enwent down, we went up. and we won the championship. >> and then all of these people said this is a bad decision. i told you so. >> exactly. what is that? >> rose: yeah. >> i knew i would do it. >> rose: exactly. >> i knew it was a good decision. >> rose: can you imagine, when
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i say the word ferrari, what does it mean to you? >> ferrari, red team, such an iconic manment obviously. i had ferrari toy cars. so you know, it say bit of emotion for i think anyone for ferrari. but i would definitely say mercedes is running through my veins. it is in my dna because have i been with them-- . >> rose: is there anything that is part-of-you that says at some point in my life, i would like to be racing the. >> i would say that, i don't know if you saw in the last race, i stood and i was just looking-- see what they are doing and see if there is anything we can learn from them. i think i look sometimes at the on board laps of other cars. and if there is any of the other
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cars i ever look at and think i wonder how that feels, it is a ferrari. how does it feel to have the red cockpit around you, different controls. i wonder how it has been for fer nandzo who went there from mclaren, how different it felt. because the difference for me going from mclaren to what i have now, huge difference, the way you drive the cars. the rules are exactly the same for us all. it has a different characteristic. and understanding that, and then being able to harness that, and extract the potential, that is like the most challenging thing. so i wonder how much different, at the moment i'm assuming it's work. because obviously nothing is as good as what i have now. >> exactly. >> but you wonder. >> yeah, i mean if i was to finish my career, would i feel that i am missed something by going to fer are. i don't think i would. i wanted to win championships. >> rose: you had the thought. >> no, i don't think i have,
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really. no, as i said, i have thought about what it would feel like to drive the car. when you go to-- this team they have, you know, the fans, the passion for ferrari worldwide. >> the prime minister is there and. >> yeah. it's a beautiful team. but i feel like i have that at mercedes. >> but every car has a personality. a ferrari has a personality. a mercedes has a personality and mclaren has a personality. >> yup. >> rose: how would you define the difference in the personality of a car? >> that's a really hard question. >> rose: but they're different and you can feel it. >> i'm trying to help. but it is an. >> because you, it is said that you are at one with the car. >> yeah. >> you are at one with the car. >> we're strapped in. >> rose: physically you're one. >> yeah, it's like you are strapped to a rocket. and it's like how do you-- how do you control this rocket. it's like a raging bull. you know, it's wild, it's sexy.
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it's fases. it's dynamic. it's so many things in one. and it's exhilarating like you cannot believe. when they are strapping you in, the seatbelt is getting tighter and tighter and you get out and have to tighten it mean more. it is just amazing. so you have the biggest grin on your face. from car to car it's different. go through this corner 108ave miles an hour, you have to trust the car is not going to below occupy, the wheels aren't going to fall off or the car isn't going to spit you off and hit a wall, which is painful. so there is a bond that you create with the car that is inscribable. yeah. is i love, i imagine it's a bit like a horsewhip whisperer, and they whisper to the horse. and all that am you don't know what they are saying to the horse. >> rose: they speak to the horse. you speak to your car. >> yeah. >> rose: you speak to your car. >> yeah, i do. a little bit. >> rose: come on, come on.
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>> yeah, exactly. >> rose: come on, come on. >> yeah, so you have that, i trust you. and i respect you. i love you. and if you give it back to me, we will did just fine. >> rose: i will be good for you and you be good for me. >> yeah. >> rose: what's it like to hit the wall? >> the journey towards it is kind of exciting. >> rose: really? what makes it exciting? >> cuz you lose control. >> rose: you know it's going to happen any secretary. >> yeah, but it's like a loll roller-coaster ride. you done have control of a roller-coaster ride. and it's exhilarating first to second. so i have had big crashes where it's all 117 miles an hour. >> rose: 17. >> 70 sz 170. >> so you go from 170 to zero. and the forces your body takes
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on that, is just unimaginable. >> rose: do you have time to think it's going to happen so i am going to tighten up or does it automatically. >> sometimes you do. sometimes you don't. usually the times you don't, you pass out. there have been races where you have lost it and passed out during the phase before i hit the-- . >> rose: just lost it, past out. >> because the g force you pull is crazy. an sometimes when i hit the wall, if you pass out. but there has been maybe once or twice where i'm going towards it, oh, this is going to hurt. , i really have and i have hit the wall, an yeah, i knew it was hurt. and then you get-- . >> rose: do you ever think i'm not going to make this, not only am i going to hit the wall but this may be it for me, lights out. >> i never think that. i always think-- . >> rose: you never thought i could die here. >> no. i don't let that into my head, no. >> rose: you don't let it in your head. > no. but suns i was a kid i don't have that fear factor. >> rose: that's what they said. >> i love, i don't know what it
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is. i just don't have that. >> rose: but you didn't have it as a kid. >> no. >> rose: they told me when you were in go carts you were the kid that had no fear. >> yeah. >> rose: you would take any chance. rose: you do.i do that. rose: you are the most fearless driver on the track. >> i believe so. >> rose: every race you go into, you're thinking about i want the pole. >> uh-huh. >> rose: i want to lead every lap. i want to have the fastest lap. >> uh-huh. >> rose: doesn't happen often. >> no. >> rose: but that's what you are thinking. >> yup. or sometimes i'm stuck in the back, and i want to crush everyone. i want to outsmart everyone. and so. >> rose: this gets too easy for you and therefore it would be no challenge. >> it could never be too easy. >> rose: you want to crush everyone. >> i do. >> rose: you want to show them who's the boss. >> well, you talk about wanting to be, the confidence you have in yourself about being the best. you want them to know. you want them to-- every driver
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feets they're the best. every driver out there, even nascar drivers, they all believe they're the best. >> rose: the best race car driver in the world within which is the same at tennis, football players, individually they have to believe, which i'm sure, you know you are the best. and that's what powers you through. and but it's your competitors that know you are the best. >> rose: they think they are the best but you want them to foa. >> but if the back of their minds though know, well, but, maybe he's a little bit better, that is what you want them to believe. >> rose: why do you think you are as good as you are? >> why do you think you're the best? >> i think, well, i think i was blessed with-- i think it was a gift from a higher power that has enabled me to shall-- . >> rose: this is not something. >> i mean it's not just a gift and we've just been given it, for sure. it was an opportunity, a gifting
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opportunity which if we worked hard enough to build, there is no limit to how high we could build that structure, that whatever you want to call itment and my dad pushed and pushed and pushed. and as a kid, and still today, i pushed and pushed and pushed. it doesn't matter if it is driving or with ever it is i am focused on. show i have this focus that i don't know where it comes from. >> the thing with lewis, i think he appreciates everyone and everything that has helped him to get to where he is. it is quite an emotional thing when formula one race, whether it is your first or your last. and that emotion comes out in every race with lewis, lewis wins. and so you know, i think ultimately he's got such a great heart, lewis, that what he likes to say is you know what, it's not just about me. it's about my dad and my family. >> rose: what did his dad do?
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>> well, you know, i was just a normal, at the time i thought i was a normal parent it turned out i wasn't that normal. because i was making so much so that it kind of changed our lives when he left mclaren and said i think your son has got something special. and when that happened, your whole life just stops. you have to reevaluate how you a prepare that life. >> rose: but you had seen that a long time ago, that he had something special. >> yeah, i did. i did. actually i saw that when he was five years of age. >> rose: what did you see? >> it was like a steely determination in his eyes, you know. when he was five he had a remote control car. and we bought the car and i bought the car to keep him out of my hair, actually. because he was forever wanting to do different things and i was like lewis, here say remote control car, keep yourself busy. and it turned out that he was extremely good at driving this little car up and down the
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driveway. so i ultimately decided that, you know, the next best thing to do was to take him to a remote control car club. and that happened like every weekend. and he and i and my wife lynn blanca we would prepare every weekend to go remote control car racing, can you believe it back then, it didn't seem like much. but it was the cat list to lewis getting from the remote controls into go carting. >> rose: is there something you could point to in which the way he operated that remote in terms of instinct and connection was the hand-eye. coordination. because you are in this club. the club had about 50 people. and most of them were 50. there were only two kids. will wises was the youngest and the next oldest was a teenager. but he used to stand up, with everybody else, you know. everyone was up here, he was down there. and was able to drive this are car backwards and forwards, tight turns, whatever. and i thought this kid as got
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something extremely special just in his hand to eye coordination. >> rose: did he have a competitive instinct. >> all the time. lewis is the sort of guy that, he will try everything once. but he's normally pretty good at everything he tries. >> rose: how much of it is that, this idea of having hand-eye coordination and athletic ability, and having some x factor, the competitive desire to win it all. >> it's quite interesting. i mean i don't quite-- people say to me that lewis has got great natural talent. i believe everybody has got natural talent. i think it depends how you develop that talent. you know, i use the analogy that we could all be brain surgeons, it's just how bad you want to be a brain surgeon. because you can be a brain surgeon or do you want to be the best. and lewis wants to be the best. and the most interesting thing about lewis, from the time he
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said he wants to be a formula one racing driver, he was like six or seven at this time sz six years old and he saidz i want to be a formula one racer. >> yeah. that's all he ever said until he got there. sometimes you say to children well, yeah, would you like to be a doctor or a policemen, it was always i'm going to be a formula one racing driver. and he said that from such an early age. that is why when we got to the opportunity to be in go carting, i said look, lewis, i will do everything in my power to make sure that you have the able to race to the best of your abilities. but and the tradeoff was i will work several jobs but you have to work hard at school. that was the tradeoff. >> rose: and did he accept the tradeoff? >> he did, yes. he was never going to be a brain surgeon because his skills were more mechanical. and so but he did. you know, he went to school, worked hard. used to get up in the morning. have private tuition because he did so much racing that he would miss critical lessons. >> rose: what sacrifices did
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you make? and what sacrifices did the family make? >> well, you know, the whole thing changed our lives because you know, when you have someone that is precocious as will wises, you have to, everybody has to come around him and kind of look after that one individual to make sure that they maximize their opportunity. because it was clear that he had got something special. i used to work on what used to be call british-- it was a fairly big-- company. i started off at the very bottom and worked my way up to become a manager on the railway, at that time for me it was, from where we lived and where we came were, you know, as opposed if you want to relate it, it is almost like coming from the bronx, if you want, and working your way up. and at that time i was in this really good job. but it wasn't good enough. because motor racing was extremely expensive, it still isment and we couldn't afford it.
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so to supplement lewis' racing i did various jobs. >> rose: what did it cost? what did it cost for him to race? you had to buy a go cart. >> well, you know, i mean it is not so of the initial outlay, but buying the equipment. it is all the traveling and all the incendiary costs. so as a typical examplek i would have to say, i used to earn if i remember rightly, probably about $30,000 worth of income back then. go carting was probably $60,000. so it is far more than-- . >> rose: you had to work extra jobs. >> i had to work extra jobs. i did about three or four extra jobs. >> rose: to support your son. >> an pay the mortgage and look after the wife and my other son. yeah. but it was money that i didn't have, you know. most families just have an average income. and you know what disposable cash you have. you have to shall-- but with motor racing, it is one of those
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things where you know, you can lose your livelihood or you can be sensible and sit back and do something different. >> rose: but take me to the go cart track and there he is. was he different from every other kid in a go cart, was he better. was he faster, was he quicker, was he-- well, it was he and we so it is lewis, myself, my wife, it is the family. we were dermed. we were not going to fail here. and so you know, for sure he showed a huge amount of natural ability when he got into the go cart. but i think that was all based around his sheer excitement and determination to succeed in whatever he put his hand to because literally, from five years of age, with the remote control car, he didn't want to come last. he always wanted to win. so there is a way you can manage
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young talent. >> that is why he was different, both the talent and the will to win. >> yeah, absolutely. absolutely. and now it's quite interesting which is why i use that from sort of the-- look, you know, as a parent, we want you to become as best educated as you possibly can. and because i know you like this motor racing so much, i will hold you to getting some good qualifications and i will do the race, take you racing and do whatever it takes. and i did. you know, i got whatever jobs i needed to to make sure that he had similar if not the same equipment as others. >> he wouldn't be where he is without you having made that sacrifice and your family having made that sacrifice. >> no, no, absolutely not. >> and i wouldn't be where i am now if it wasn't for his ability now. >> rose: his ability. >> yeah. >> rose: what do you mean by that? >> well, you know, it's been quite interesting because it hasn't just been a successful-- he has been a success for the family. you know, i suppose when you
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teak on board the responsibility of looking after somebody like lewis, associated with what was then mclaren, your life has to change. because it is a bit like a man from the lottery saying you know what, you have got the golden particular but you can't have it for ten years. so what do you do for ten years. and we didn't want to blow lewis' opportunity which was a ten year opportunity, because mclaren signed when he was 13. and the opportunity fortunately came eight to nine years later when he got in a formula one car. so you have it try and manage the process by making sure to not just the talented individual, like lewis achieves the objective, for the whole family. >> assuming the support that the family gave mim and all that you just described, was it that much harder for lewis to do it bus he was competing against people who had other kinds of advantages?
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>> absolutely am you know, it isn't just about having money, you know. i think at the time, when we didn't have any money, we used to have an old go cart shanty. so when we started carting, i remember, i could hardly afford to even get started. but i bought this old go cart, probably about ten years old. been wrapped around the first three times. but i remember i got that shanty home, put it out into the shed and i went down to the local car shop, got some paint, and everything else. and i refurbished that car. i made it look like brand new for his christmas. >> but in this form tiff time, you were-- he didn't have professionals coming in. disn tell him how to race. >> no. >> he had you. >> he just had me. >> what did you know about racing? >> absolutely nothing. that was the interesting thing am i knew absolutely nothing about racing but i knew this. and a lot of it is common sense too.
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you know, for example, when we started, the remote control car race, i knew nothing about that. but he wanted to do so. that i had to learn. so i would go and learn to be able to teach lewis how to do what he would do. an something with the go carts, when we started go cart, i didn't know one left side from the right side. you know, but you soon get to learn. but i have got to say that i think lewis-- lewis' extra skill has come by my inability as if within a professional. >> your inabilities. >> yeah, yeah. because i used to assert ---- that he would fill win way four poster bed while other guys around us had teams of engineers app all of the best equipment. and you know, they thought money was going to buy success. but it didn't. pun doesn't buy success. hard work buys success. >> did he feel at a disadvantage. >> never, ever complained, no. one thing about my children, they never, ever complained.
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they always got what they needed. they are always grateful for everything we've done. >> rose: for more about this program and earlier episodes advice out us online at pbs.org an charlie rose.com. captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
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>> rose: funding for "charlie rose" has been provided by: >> and by bloomberg, a provider of multimedia news and information services worldwide.
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this is "nightly business e report" with til mathison and sue h rare ra. > not s on tomorrow's jobs report as the riger for the f manufacturing sector shrinks. >> mission to mars and how nasa an attention to get people to the red planet sooner ather than la off-campus housing has the all of that and more for and welcome. i'm bill griffin in tonight for tyler mathison and i'm sharon epperson in for sue herera. it was a common belief that all of the

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