Lando Norris, Lewis Hamilton, George Russell, and Alex Albon have opened up on the impact their mothers have had in their lives ahead of a charity campaign with #HomeAdvantage; the charity works to get children out of orphanages and into “loving homes”

Last Updated: 18/03/23 7:56pm

Lewis Hamilton has credited his biological mum Carmel Larbalestier with teaching him how to have “empathy and warmth and compassion”

To mark Mother’s Day and the launch of the #HomeAdvantage charity campaign, four British F1 stars have revealed to Sky Sports F1 how their mums drove them to success.

Lewis Hamilton, Lando Norris, George Russell and Alex Albon have all shared emotional stories about the love and support their mothers provide in exclusive interviews with Sky Sports.

Sky Sports F1 is supporting the launch of the #HomeAdvantage campaign, in aid of the global charity Hope and Homes for Children.

Just like children, sports stars fulfil their potential and get better results when people cheer them on, in familiar environments, that is when they have a #HomeAdvantage.

Tragically, the 5.4m children confined in orphanages worldwide today are denied this. Locked up alone, they routinely suffer violence, abuse and neglect unnecessarily, with 80 per cent of them have living parents who could care for them at home.

Backed by Sky Sports, YouTube and eBay, and featuring global sport stars who share stories of the support their family gave them as a child, #HomeAdvantage will attempt to make orphanages history.

Hamilton opened up on the impact that both his biological mother and step mother have had in his life.

“I have two mums. My biological mum. She’s the one that taught me about empathy and warmth and compassion for others in the world,” said Hamilton.

Lewis Hamilton is grateful his stepmum Linda Hamilton has been there with him “all the way”

“And I was lucky enough to have a second mother, my stepmum Linda. I’m just so grateful that I had them both with me all the way.”

Norris added: “My mum’s role has been very important in my life. She’s been as supportive as a mum can be for letting their son go on to try to achieve their goal. I couldn’t have asked for more.”

Nearly 70 per cent of people in the UK (a major source of overseas orphanage funding) believe orphanages protect children, when in fact 100 years of scientific research shows they harm them.

Since 1994 Hope and Homes for Children has been inspiring multiple governments, the UN, EU and Commonwealth to close the doors of orphanages forever. The charity fights for children to grow up in families, by reuniting children with relatives. When that’s not possible, it trains social workers to find families to foster or adopt.

Today, countries such as Rwanda, Bulgaria and Romania are on the cusp of becoming orphanage-free. #HomeAdvantage aims to help them finish the job, with sights on the rest of the world to follow.

Pinkham on importance of Hope and Homes for Children patronage:

Sky Sports F1 presenter Natalie Pinkham believes there is such a power of Home Advantage and that “children thrive in families”.

As a Patron of Hope and Homes for Children, she said: “Decades of evidence proves how critical home and family is to a child.

“For every three months a child spends in an orphanage, they can lose one month of development compared to a child in a family.

“Denied the chance to grow up in a family, they’re 23 per cent more likely to become homeless later in life, and 50 per cent more likely to have run-ins with the law.

“No child should be confined to an orphanage, deprived of the love of family and the advantages of home.”

1996 F1 world champion and Sky Sports analyst Damon Hill is also a #HomeAdvantage Champion.

“When my dad died, I realised that the advantages of home are something we can all take for granted – how my mum had to struggle to keep the family afloat,” said Hill.

“And as a father, family is the most important thing. No child should be in an orphanage when it’s possible to find them a loving home.”

To pledge your support and give children in orphanages a home advantage, visit www.homeadvantage.org.uk and follow @hopeandhomes on Twitter and @homeandhomesforchildren on Instagram #HomeAdvantage.