Sky Sports F1’s Naomi Schiff admits she ‘made Lewis Hamilton nervous’
Although Naomi Schiff, 28, has looked up to Lewis Hamilton, 38, throughout her career in motorsports, the Sky Sports F1 presenter revealed the tables were turned when she interviewed the Mercedes champ last year. Reflecting on the moment she sat down with Lewis for a pre-season interview after the controversial conclusion to 2021’s championship in Abu Dhabi, Naomi exclusively told Express.co.uk that she was apprehensive about the chat, and admitted her worries to the F1 star.
The racing enthusiasts had met briefly on several occasions through the sport prior to their interview, but Naomi admitted this fact actually added “more pressure” to their formal televised meeting.
She revealed: “I mean, on one hand, it’s possibly a little bit more comfortable and you’re looking forward to it a lot more.
“But it’s also maybe more pressure I guess, because of everything that he meant to me growing up, so I was definitely very nervous.”
Naomi shared her nerves with Lewis in an attempt to “disarm him a little bit” before their interview.
But she was surprised to find that straight after filming their conversation for Sky Sports F1, Lewis confided in her that he had been experiencing the very same fears.
She continued: “I told him, I just was very upfront, I said, ‘I’m super nervous’.
“I felt like that would like disarm him a little bit if he was maybe not in the greatest mood, or whatever, I thought he’ll be nicer to me.
“And he was amazing. I mean, he really gave me so much time.
“We went 15 minutes over time, and they wanted to cut the interview short and he wanted to continue, so he was great.
“And then, at the end, he told me that I made him nervous!” She exclaimed, reflecting on how his candid remark left her taken aback at the time.
Despite the pair both feeling nervous, the interview with Lewis is still revered by Naomi as her “most special interview” yet.
The former racing driver explained: “Because, you know, he had been pretty much completely off the radar for three or four months after the Abu Dhabi incident.
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“And you know, there was a lot of speculation – will he come back? Would he not? What space was he in?
“So to be able to be one of the first people to have a really long sit down interview with him after that incident [was great].
“Also, you know, the first person I sit down and interview is the person who I’ve looked up to my entire life. Yeah, that’s very special.”
At the time of the interview, Lewis had just returned to the sport after a controversial end to his title race with Max Verstappen had left him considering quitting F1.
The British sportsman looked set to secure a record-breaking eighth world championship.
However, with just a few laps remaining, the safety car was deployed and upon the restart, then-race director Michael Masi incorrectly allowed only the lapped cars between Hamilton and Verstappen to pass through.
This allowed the Red Bull driver, who was on fresh tyres, to move past Hamilton on the last lap and win the title.
The rules at the time stipulated that the race should not have restarted, and Mercedes launched an appeal about the decision, but despite this, the 2021 results stood.
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