Hamilton and the $4m promise he didn’t keep to his dad after F1 split
Lewis Hamilton promised to give his father Anthony up to $4million when they split as manager and client in 2010 but the money was never paid, the High Court heard.
Anthony Hamilton went to great lengths to accommodate the expected money — setting up an off-shore account in the name of his own father Davidson, Lewis’s grandfather — only for the driver to renege on the arrangement.
The fascinating insight into previously unknown details of their parting, which was made public in March 2010 but actually occurred in January of that year, came during Hamilton Snr’s evidence in his damages claim against Force India’s Formula One driver Paul di Resta.
Relationship: Anthony Hamilton managed his son Lewis until 2010 when they split acrimoniously
Asked about the gift pledged by his son, Hamilton said: ‘I never asked Lewis for a penny. When he won the World Championship in 2008, he thanked me and that was all I needed for 18 years of graft.
‘We split because at that time Lewis had spent nearly 18 years with me.
‘He thought, “You know what dad, I am fed up listening to you”. He decided he wanted to be his own man. I was comfortable with that.’
As part of the split Lewis Hamilton said he would make a cash payment. ‘Maybe he was feeling guilty and wanted to say thank you to everybody,’ added his father.
Revealing: Anthony Hamilton was promised $4m by his son Lewis but the F1 ace reneged on the arrangement
Anthony Hamilton said he had decided not to take the money for himself but to set up an account called Belir nominally for his father, who lived in Grenada, but really intended to act as a fund for his sisters. The account was administered in Guernsey and Hamilton agreed that he was the account’s ‘guiding mind and spirit’.
Paul Downes QC, acting for Di Resta, alleged the account was a ‘pretty sophisticated way of concealing’ a one-off payment.
Downes asked Hamilton if he had any idea why Lewis had changed his mind about the money. ‘I don’t have the answer to that,’ he responded.
‘It just never happened. I am comfortable with it. It’s not my business. If he says he’s going to do something and he doesn’t that’s his loss. It’s not my place to go moneyHappier times: Hamilton used to represent Force India driver Paul di Resta before they fell out
Lewis is said to have earmarked between $3m and $4m (£1.8m-£2.4m) for the gift. It also emerged that Anthony Hamilton, who lives in Tewin, Hertfordshire, spent £3m on a house in 2008. He denied he did so with a cash payment, saying he instead took out a mortgage to cover some of the house price.
Hamilton told the court he ‘could carry my own weight’ financially, regardless of his son’s fortune, because of the successful IT business he started up in the mid-1990s. ‘Before Lewis reached Formula One, I had made my own money,’ he said.
In earlier exchanges Hamilton laid bare some of the sport’s chicanery, telling Mrs Justice Asplin that when acting as a driver’s manager — the role he fulfilled for Di Resta before their acrimonious split that is the subject of this case — he would tell ‘white lies’ and ‘swerve the truth’ when necessary.
said: ‘In Formula One there is a huge grapevine. There are a lot of truths and untruths, and a good manager is one who will fight for his client. If he has to tell a white lie that seems sensible if he is trying to get the best deal for his driver.’
He gave as an example how a manager could contact one team so they could say they were in discussion with them about a racing seat simply to hurry along negotiations elsewhere.
The case continues with Hamilton in the witness box for a third day.
Best moment: Lewis Hamilton became World Champion in 2008 when driving for McLaren
Best moment: Lewis Hamilt
on became World champion