Just listened to the Chris Moyles show on Radio 1 and they had Lewis Hamilton on, talking about the new season, doing a human beatbox impression which was actually pretty impressive and pledging £10k if the rotund Moyles can climb to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, a task he has set himself to raise money for the Children in Need campaign. [ See the video - the beatbox bit is around 4m20s ]
I mention this because as I listened to it, I could sense Hamilton’s unease at trying to guess what level to pitch his donation at. If you are a multi-millionaire tax exiled in Switzerland how much do you offer? He started out with £5k, but then doubled it as Moyles was leaving the McLaren factory. I think that’s about right for someone like him, what do you think?
It’s like looking at the kid on the doorstep asking you to sponsor him for a charity bike ride and knowing what amount to out, except that with Lewis on Radio 1 millions of people will judge him – if he goes too low people say, “Mean git” and if you go too high you look like a flash Harry at a time when thousands are losing their jobs and homes.
How to play it during the credit crunch is becoming more and more of an issue for F1 celebrities. Look at Sir Jackie Stewart and the heat he’s taking in the Daily Mail for refusing to lower his alleged £4 million retainer from Royal Bank of Scotland.
Watch out for more F1 people struggling to set the right tone, dropping the private jet and not being ostentatious.