Tom Brady is no stranger to Formula One events having previously thrown an American football to Daniel Ricciardo on a yacht in Monaco back in 2018 and guest starred, last month, in Aston Martin’s AMR21 launch. Most recently, Tom Brady had a video call with 7-time F1 Drivers’ Champion Sir Lewis Hamilton hosted by TV personality James Corden. The 18-minute feature was a sponsored piece of media for IWC Schaffhausen entitled ‘Talking Big’ and featured laughter and a few revelations as one would expect.
Seven-time Formula 1 Drivers’ Champion Sir Lewis Hamilton and seven-time Super Bowl winner Tom Brady’s discussion was transmitted via the Instagram page of IWC Schaffhausen. This sponsor is a prestigious watch company and also a Mercedes partner. As for why the pair of Hamilton and Brady were involved – they are both ambassadors for the brand. More often than not, these promotional pieces tend to be more style than substance, however, on this occasion the conversation did provide one or two headlines.
Host James Corden asked his two guests for any similarities they have with one another, what followed was mutual praise - as expected:
Lewis Hamilton: “I do. I mean, I watch really closely what Tom has achieved, some of the things that Tom does in his training. How he prepares himself. How he conducts himself with his team. There are so many things that you can take from watching a great athlete like Tom that you can then apply to be a better athlete yourself.”
Tom Brady: “Yeah. I mean, Lewis was, from the time he was a teenager, one of the real prodigies of the sport. And Lewis already trained this morning for, I don’t know, 10, 12 hours, something like that. How many other people are doing that? That’s why he’s the greatest Formula One champion of all time.”
Next, came a reference by James Corden to the infamous conversation between a very young albeit talented Lewis Hamilton and a very powerful Ron Dennis:
James Corden: “Just hearing you say that, Tom, you reminded me about when Lewis was young and you had won a kart tournament, and I think you went up to Ron Dennis, who was running the McLaren team, and you said, “Hi. I’m Lewis Hamilton, and I’m going to race for you one day.” And then, Tom. Am I right in thinking that when you first signed your professional contract, you said to the owner of that team, “I’m going to be the best decision you ever made.” Is that true?”
Tom Brady: “I had said that to the boss of my team. He tells the story a little differently because I said, “You’ll never regret picking me.” Now, I think he doesn’t quite remember the same way, but that’s how I remember. But I guess the point is there was a confidence that you got to have, and I always tell my teammates this, “You have to believe in yourself before anyone else believes in you” because when you get around your teammates, they’re going to look in your eyes. And if you look like you have confidence and belief in yourself, they’re going to believe in you and they’re going to believe in themselves.”
In the recollection shared by Lewis Hamilton, further insight was shared with regard to that infamous conversation with McLaren’s Team boss and demonstrated the confidence which the Briton had then and continues to have now.
Lewis Hamilton: “I, at a young age, thought, “Okay. I know I can do this”. I had a lot of training and I was prepared, and I knew when I got my opportunity, I was going to take advantage. So, I was very fortunate to get the opportunity shortly after. I don’t know how it’s been for you, Tom, but in my life, absolutely everything that’s happened, it’s been something I visualized or dreamt of. I just gave everything to get to those places, of course, with a lot of help from great people around me. I had a vision and had that belief in myself, which enabled me to get it. And of course going back 10, 15 years, you could have never imagined that those things would really come true. And to the boss, 10 years later, he gave me a deal and I won the world championship for him 10 years later. So, it’s crazy to hear that’s something similar to Tom.”
The purpose of this promotional piece, of course, was to sell watches and both superstars duly commented on the IWC craftmanship, the significance of 'perfect timing' and the prestige of the brand. However, the main topic of discussion, which has made the headlines on the motorsport pages, came from exploring whether either guest had any superstitions which they felt helped them perform better. Tom Brady made clear that he had no anecdote worthy examples, for Lewis Hamilton though it was a very different story.
Lewis Hamilton: "When I was younger, I think I must have been 10 or 11, and my brother [Nicholas] gave me this conker, and it was my lucky conker! So, I put it in my suit. I don't know what happened to the damn thing. Came out my leg, trouser leg or something, I lost this conker.”
And…the confession continued:
Lewis Hamilton: "And then, I had a lucky pair of underwear. My mom shrunk them. It didn't get 'til I was 17 or 18, and I had a sequence of how to get dressed. Right sock first, left sock. These steps that I would take. And I remember I got in the car, I was in Germany, and I'm about to start the race, and my helmet wasn't done up…So, I've missed one of those elements of these steps that I had made crucial to getting the job done. And I remember I crashed several seconds later. And after that, I was like, "This is ridiculous." This is all in my head, and I basically got rid of that!"
So that was then but what about – now? Hamilton continued:
"And now, like Tom, I don't have any of those things. I think we probably create those things in our minds. And you'll know from what Tom was saying, the psychological challenges that we face, you got to free your mind and let the greatness flow, I guess!"
Superstitions were also the topic of conversation on the F1 podcast F1 Nation.
This past week, on the first episode of the new season, 1996 F1 Drivers’ Champion Damon Hill shared his superstition with those listening in…although he labelled it as a ‘pre-race routine’:
‘Definitely, I would always get in the car from the right hand side of the car – I don’t know why. Maybe it was like getting on a bicycle as you throw one leg over before the other.’
With a season yet to start, the ‘filler’ of stories on a daily basis is clear to see. Nevertheless, with another promotional obligation ticked off for Sir Lewis Hamilton – this time for IWC – the time is almost here for Mercedes to do their ‘talking on the track’.