Few people took Lewis Hamilton’s assertion that he was moving to Switzerland to retreat from the pressures of fame very seriously.
Most commentators, including this blog’s management, saw the long shadow of the taxman looming over the horizon. And so it has proved to be.
The Boy Wonder has come clean in an interview with veteran chat-show host Michael Parkinson broadcast this weekend. Here’s the exchange:
Parkinson: “I imagine you have been advised because of tax also?”
Hamilton: “Also, that definitely adds to it.”
Parkinson: “I just thought you were wrongly advised in a sense when you said you were going to avoid the press. If you want to live in Switzerland then that’s your problem, in my view. I wouldn’t live there for £50 million a week.”
Harsh, much? The Alpine state certainly seems to have become mighty fashionable among Formula One drivers recently, counting the hugely successful Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso among its residents.
Monaco, by contrast, seems to be seen as slightly passé, with the rather less world championship-heavy Coulthard and Button languishing there.
In fact, we think Hamilton’s biggest problem, in a country that’s little more than 15,000 square miles across, and with a population of seven and a half million people, might be tripping over his track rivals every time he goes out of the door.
Just imagine the scene in the newsagents or the grocery store…