Lewis Hamilton and Esteban Ocon kicked off the racing for this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix early, by racing Remote Control Cars down the Suzuka pit lane.

Hamilton, famed for appearing on British television’s Blue Peter program as a child due to his passion for RC racing, has long been an advocate for the fun and popular past-time.

Ocon, too, is a fan of RC cars, and the pair spoke of their contest in Thursday’s Drivers’ Press Conference in Japan.

“Yeah, so Esteban and I had planned [it a] while ago, that while we’re here, we’ll get our remote control cars together and have a bit of a race in the pit lane,” said the Mercedes driver.

“For me, it was very reminiscent of when I was a kid on Blue Peter, and it was really cool, because we all share, more in common than we probably think, other than the fact that we’re pure racers. But it’s very rare that we all get to do things like that, so it was it was fun.”

But who won the race?

“It was just a bit of fun,” Ocon admitted.

Hamilton retorted: “We were all spinning around – but I wasn’t far off your pace!”

Ocon then added: “I was super-impressed because he hasn’t done it for years.

“And he was like: ‘yeah, start slow,” and all that.

“Because I practice a lot, like I’m constantly on it, and straight away, like first braking points, he nails it. So, you know, that’s more than impressive.”


— Esteban Ocon (@OconEsteban) September 21, 2023

Despite getting up to pace quickly, Hamilton conceded that he “flipped it a lot of times!”

“But I think I had a softer set-up,” he continued.

Ocon agreed, saying: “Yeah, he had a softer set-up.”

It’s clear that Hamilton and Ocon enjoyed their time RC racing and the ability to unwind before this weekend’s true racing action gets underway.

Check out Hamilton and Ocon’s mini-race via the gallery below (photos courtesy of XPB Images).

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