Ex-Formula 1 driver David Coulthard has questioned why Lewis Hamilton has a security team follow him everywhere in the paddock, with the Scotsman revealing that the Mercedes driver is the only driver on the grid who still has a security guard.
With the exception of Fernando Alonso, Hamilton has been on the grid significantly longer than any other driver.
The seven-time World Champion is seen by many as the sport’s most successful driver, given that he holds the records for most wins and most pole positions in the history of the championship.
He also holds the record for most world titles – seven – alongside Michael Schumacher.
Success is usually rewarded with popularity, something Hamilton leads in.
The 38-year-old has an incredible social media following, considerably more than any other driver on the grid.
There are very much two generations in the paddock nowadays, with the likes of Alonso, Hamilton and Nico Hulkenberg being part of one, and George Russell, Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen being part of another.
The younger drivers don’t have security follow them despite also driving for big teams, with them often being seen joking around with each other.
Coulthard discussed this and how Hamilton’s paddock lifestyle is the complete opposite of the younger drivers but added that it could be because of how long the Stevenage-born driver has been in F1.
“I think there’s a group of young drivers right now that seem to relate to each other,” Coulthard said to Eddie Jordan on the Formula For Success podcast.
“The only, I guess, outlier would really be Lewis, maybe it’s because Lewis has been around for longer.
“He’s the only driver who has actually a security man that works with him at the track. I don’t know what danger he feels he might be in.
“Somebody coming up and asking for an autograph? But, other than that, there does seem to be… you see quite a lot of the younger guys, your Georges, your Landos, and whoever else, hanging out with each other away from the racetrack.”
Jordan was quick to jump to Hamilton’s defence though and insist that the 103-time race winner is “still the most revered driver” on the grid.
“You’ve got to give Lewis some credit,” Jordan said.
“Because he is still the most revered driver in Formula 1 at the moment. I know we talk about Max, but Max is a much more laid-back kind of guy.
“Whereas Lewis, he’s front of house – he’s box office, top class.”