Racing With The Hamiltons: Nic In The Driving Seat

The BBC’s new disability season starts on Tuesday 6 March at 10.35pm withRacing With The Hamiltons: Nic In The Driving Seat.

Becoming a racing car driver isn’t easy for anyone, especially when you have cerebral palsy and your older brother is the world’s youngest F1 winner. In a sweeping one-hour documentary that captures the highs and lows of starting out on the racetrack, Nic hits the competitive Clio Cup to see if he has what it takes to make it as a driver. With his family on the track and brother Lewis on hand for advice, Nic is determined to prove that he can go beyond being disabled to kickstart a career as a driver. But his cerebral palsy and lack of driving experience means that he’s facing tough odds just to finish each race in one piece, let alone do well enough to continue beyond just the one tour. When a high-speed accident threatens to end his career before it’s really begun, it takes every ounce of Nic’s courage to get back in the driving seat. A moving documentary that looks at how one ordinary young man pushes beyond being disabled to take on an extraordinary challenge.

Young disabled people from our Trendsetters project met Nic Hamilton during the making of this documentary, and here’s what happened:

BBC documentary

Increasing numbers of disabled young people have been looking up to Nic Hamilton as a role model, and they were keen to explore this in the programme. They asked Scope if we could arrange for Nic to meet some young disabled people and to film this for the documentary. We thought the Trendsetters would be an ideal group of people to meet Nic so of course we said yes!

It was very short notice but we managed to get Bradley and Kayne to Scope’s head office to meet Nic, and be filmed interviewing him. Jamie Robertson from the Scope campaigns team came along too. Bradley, Kayne and Jamie had some interesting questions for Nic and asked him about his racing career, his adapted car, his experiences of growing up, school and bullying, and his relationship with his brother Lewis Hamilton, the Formula 1 racing driver. We found out that Nic and Lewis play a competitive car racing computer game when they are apart, and that both of them want to win!

Trendsetters project

Nic asked Bradley and Kayne about the Trendsetters project, and they talked about living with cerebral palsy and the attitudes of other people towards them. Nic told the boys that being different isn’t a bad thing, and explained how he deals with any challenges he faces with a positive attitude.

“A wicked day”

The filming took nearly two hours, and we are hoping that some of the footage will get used in the documentary… so look out for Bradley, Kayne and Jamie, they could be famous! Everyone enjoyed the experience, Bradley’s Mum and Kayne’s Dad got to meet Nic and chat to him over lunch and as Kayne’s Dad said afterwards, “What a wicked day!”

Kayne told us that he went go-karting a few months ago, but crashed his go-kart and didn’t want to go again. But after talking to Nic he felt inspired to go back to go-karting and he was getting ready to search the web for places where he could go and get involved.

Thanks to our London Trendsetters and their families for joining us at such short notice, and for proving to be such good interviewers.

Let’s hope we get lots more opportunities like this!