Ace Formula One racer Lewis Hamilton talks about life on the fast lap and beyond

Formula One racer Lewis Hamilton has taken on a new role. In an alternate avatar, he is racing against time to retrieve stolen works of art through a game developed by Reebok called ?Hamilton: Secret Life?.

?I liked it because it was so new and different. It's also very cool knowing that I am the first and only sportsman in the world to have his own alternate reality game. I have always been an adrenaline junkie, so the premise of the game to retrieve stolen artworks and return them to their rightful owner through a series of heists was cool.? Hamilton admits to his penchant for computer games which he plays to relax at home from time to time. What really interested him in this new game ?was that it wasn't your everyday type of console game.?

?The fact that it takes place online and in the real world at the same time was really different and I also liked the fact that anyone could play it anywhere in the world, for free! I would not say I am technology obsessed, but like most people, I do like a new gadget from time to time,? says Hamilton in an e-mail interview.

The game centres on five core missions and will run until this October.

Comparing his new online avatar with his real self, Hamilton says, ?Well, we both love an adrenaline rush and we're both the type of guys that just want to do the right thing, so in that respect we are very similar!? Talking about his childhood days, Hamilton, who was named after American sprinter Carl Lewis, says, ?As a kid, I would dream of being chosen the first ever black James Bond. So you could say the game mirrors the type of adventures I would imagine being part of as a kid.? On a more serious note, he adds, ?Like most kids I wanted to be a professional footballer and as a big Arsenal fan, I would have loved to have been able to play like Thierry Henry.? Then what made him switch to life on the fast lap? ?I am not sure there was a defining moment. I have always enjoyed all types of sports but I'm sure I got the driving bug the day my dad first took me go-karting.?

His training regime

Giving his perspective on the physical aspect of the demanding sport, Hamilton says, ?I have always been very focused on the training side of what I do. Ensuring that I am always in the best physical condition makes a huge difference to my well being. During the season I keep my fitness up, but the hard work is really done in pre-season. Unlike most sportsmen who take a break at the end of a season, I put myself through an intensive and varied training regime. Over the four-month period I'll take part in around 165 hours of training over about 60 training sessions.? The sessions, he explains, are split across two main areas: strength and core, and cardiovascular. ?For strength and core, my main areas of focus are the neck, core, back, gluts, shoulders and legs and speed work. The cardio work is focussed around running,? says the champion driver of the McLaren Mercedes team.

Hamilton holds the distinction of being the youngest ever Formula One world champion. As for the distractions that come with big money, he says, ?I have never been the type of person to get distracted. I still have the same close group of friends and my family is extremely important to me. I have never really changed as a person. Yes, I have a great job, but I work really hard at it too, and this is what keeps me focused.? He then adds, ?I'm just a normal guy in my free time. I do the same stuff everyone else does such as catching up with friends, working out, listening to music and yes, playing computer games from time to time.?

Hamilton says he loves to visit India. ?I always enjoy going to India and have been fortunate enough to visit a few times with our partners Vodafone. It's a great country and I love the food. Last year, I was lucky enough to visit Delhi and take part in a cricketing event,? he signs off.