An image shows Hamilton playing Driver on a PS1 on a CRT TV.

Screenshot: Mercedes-Benz / Ubisoft / Kotaku

Famous and incredibly successful F1 driver Lewis Hamilton has one of the best careers in racing history, with records for the most career wins, most pole positions, most podium finishes, most career points, and most laps led. But even this skilled racer can’t beat the opening tutorial level of Driver on the original PlayStation. It’s okay, we all struggled with it, Mr. Hamilton.

Released in 1999, the original Driver was a critically acclaimed semi-open-world driving game inspired by famous Hollywood car chases. It pre-dated Grand Theft Auto III’s leap to 3D and was, for many gamers, their first chance to explore a contemporary open-world city featuring police chases and car crashes on a console. It would spawn an entire franchise and in a weird way, it also led to the creation of Watch Dogs. However, today, Driver is probably most famous for its incredibly difficult opening tutorial. In this level, players have to complete an intense checklist of driving moves in a short amount of time. Many struggled for hours to finish this opening level. Some never did. Lewis Hamilton, world-famous and uber-successful F1 driver, is one of those people.

Lewis Hamilton Plays Retro Video Games from His Childhood! 🎮

In a video uploaded to the official Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team YouTube channel, Hamilton sits down and plays some old games on a PS1 and a CRT TV. It’s a cute video where the driver talks about how hard he worked to get his first PS1 and the old F1 games he used to play. But also, at one point in the video, he boots up Driver and struggles to make any progress.

“Oh shit, I’ve not done well in this one,” said Hamilton. Then after a few more attempts: “Damnit, I can’t get past this first stage,” Hamilton admitted with a laugh.

No shame to Hamilton. That opening level of Driver sucks and is way too hard and unforgiving, especially considering it’s supposed to act like a tutorial. If anything, watching him fail at that level makes me feel better about how awful I was at Driver as a kid. For showing us all just how hard that opening level in Driver was, I say thank you to Lewis Hamilton.


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