Lewis Hamilton: 'Nelson Mandela is like a grandfather to me'

Hamilton: 'Mandela like a grandfather to me'
© AP Photos
Lewis Hamilton says that Nelson Mandela, who is in critical condition in a South African hospital, is "like a grandfather" to him.

Mercedes Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton has revealed that former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela is "like a grandfather" to him.

The 94-year-old, who became an icon through the anti-apartheid struggle, is currently in critical condition in a Pretoria hospital with a lung infection.

Hamilton has revealed that he first met Mandela a few years ago and has since stayed in touch.

"He has become like a grandfather to me - that's how I look at him," Hamilton wrote in his BBC Sport column. "He has had such a huge influence on everyone in the world.

"It is remarkable to meet someone like that, who has achieved so much. It makes you realise how little I have achieved in my life and how much harder I have to work, and how much more there is to do."

Meanwhile, Hamilton is preparing for this Sunday's British Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton during a press conference on February 4, 2013
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