'Nervous as hell': Hamilton's dad ready for sixth title

Austin (AFP) –


Lewis Hamilton was surrounded by friends and family, including his beaming father Anthony who said he was "as nervous as hell", ahead of Sunday's potentially-decisive United States Grand Prix.

World champion Hamilton, who is bidding to clinch his sixth drivers world title, had called his father -– once his manager, but no longer a frequent visitor to the paddock -- to tell him he wanted him in Texas.

"I got the call and he told me I had to be here," said Anthony. "All the family have come and we are all here. It's great to be back and be here, amazing.

"Honestly, I can't believe it –- it feels like it is the first year all over again."

Hamilton ended his driver-manager relationship with his father at the end of the 2009 season, but the pair have since rebuilt their father-son relationship.

"Here now, nothing has changed," said Anthony. "Standing here on the grid today, it feels like the first time in 2007 when we had the opportunity to win a world championship.

"I'm as nervous as hell, but I'm enjoying it. I'm happy to be here and I think it is very, very surreal.

"Here we are, a sixth world championship on the brink. It's absolutely amazing! And not bad for a boy from a Stevenage council house."

Father Hamilton added that his son was relishing his battle with the new generation of young drivers in F1.

"He loves it -– for Lewis, these young kids are like a red rag to a bull."