Sim Racing Changed The Life Of One Man With Cerebral Palsy


Nicolas Hamilton was born two months premature and was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. As a result, he spent most of his early years in a wheelchair. Hamilton loved watching his older brother, three-time Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton, race and also dreamed of being a professional race car driver.

When he was 15, Hamilton discovered simulated racing, and he was soon winning Esports championships due to the amount of time he devoted on developing his skills and abilities on the simulator. Eventually he convinced his dad to let him drive a real race car on a test track at a driving school. Within half a day, he was faster than the instructor himself.

Shortly after, in 2011, Nicolas Hamilton made his professional racing debut in the Renault Sport Clio Cup, and in 2015 a car was specially modified to accommodate his specific needs, helping him to secure a deal with AmD Tuning to race an Audi S3 in five rounds of the British Touring Car Championship. In doing so, Hamilton became the first driver with a disability to compete in the series.

Due to his past experience with simulation racing, and his experience with professional race car driving, Hamilton also works as the Handling Consultant for Slightly Mad Studios and their Project CARS game.

Nicolas’ career has gone from strength to strength since that debut in the Renault Sport Clio Cup; with his specially modified car, he has raced against the best in the European Touring Car Cup, and British Touring Car Championship. His understanding and keen knowledge of the racing world has become much sought after; when he’s not pulling a fireproof balaclava over his head, his unique skill-set is used by motorsport simulation studio Slightly Mad Studios (makers of Project CARS) as their Handling Consultant.  And on any given Sunday, Nicolas can be seen on TV as an official pundit for Channel 4’s coverage of the world’s most watched motorsport series, Formula One.

The short film Inspired to Drive, charts this inspirational story of how a kid who couldn’t walk without mechanical aid went from a wheelchair cheering on his world champion brother to the cockpit of a racing car as a professional racing driver. Check it out below:

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