Billy Monger lost both his lower legs in a horrendous Formula 4 crash earlier this year, yet just 11 weeks later he was back behind the wheel of a racing car. He already has his sights set on competing at Le Mans in the future, too.
Pretty much everyone in the motorsport community has been following his story and offering support, and this weekend Lewis Hamilton has invited Billy and his family to come and watch the British GP from the Mercedes garage as his guests.
Lewis said that he felt devastated when he heard about Billy’s accident earlier in the year, and also that he was a source of inspiration for him.
“Obviously I have watched closely the incident that he had which I think broke everyone’s heart to see that kind of thing happen. For me personally it really hit home as I remember being where he was in that category and fighting your way up with the dream and your view on being in Formula One and to have that taken away from you in an instant, that was really not his fault. I was just devastated.”
Great to welcome @BillyMonger to the #BritishGP #F1 #BillyWhizz pic.twitter.com/4m6hd9hYzd
— Formula 1 (@F1) July 14, 2017
“People always ask me where I get my inspiration from. I get inspiration from all these other individuals doing amazing things around the world and he is one of those. He has come out of hospital, actually he had an operation yesterday and he is here today. This week he had been having operations. His mind-set, his mentality, he’s inspiring so many people who have issues whether its disability or had incidents and even for people like myself.”
Brilliant to have @BillyMonger with us today! Talk about inspirational 💪 #BillyWhizz #BritishGP #F1 pic.twitter.com/YpxUFTpNcF
— Mercedes-AMG F1 (@MercedesAMGF1) July 14, 2017
Hamilton also said that Billy’s mindset is going to take him far in life, and that he could emulate the achievements of Alex Zanardi.
“I think he’s frigging awesome so that’s why I invited him down and his family. When I was in the garage I could see him in my mirror. Hopefully going to get him in my car at some stage because I am sure he wants to sit in the car. He’s already racing, already back in the racing car, a bit like Alex Zanardi, who for me blows my mind. I think he’s just an incredible human being, he’s gone onto win gold medals and I know this kid is going to do the same thing.”
Lewis (rightly or wrongly) gets a lot of stick for certain things, but there can be no denying that this is an absolutely mega gesture from him and it’s absolutely fantastic to see.