In February, Brady claimed his seventh Superbowl victory with his new team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and was named Super Bowl MVP for a record-breaking fifth time. Hamilton clinched a seventh drivers’ championship late last year with his team Mercedes and now has more race wins and pole positions under his belt than any other Formula One driver in history. Together, they are considered two of sport’s Greatest Of All Time (GOAT).
In ‘Talking Big’, hosted by television star James Corden, the two – both IWC brand ambassadors meet up for a brilliant and inspiring conversation where they candidly discuss their careers, similar outlooks on life and what they still hope to achieve. They also go head-to-head in an entertaining game of True or False to see how well they know each other.
James Corden: I’m talking to two of the biggest sport stars in the world. The greatest quarterback of all time, Tom Brady, and the greatest ever Formula One racing driver of all time, Lewis Hamilton.
How are you, gentlemen? Have your paths crossed with each other before?
Lewis Hamilton: Yeah. Tom and I, we’ve met multiple times and been in touch for some years now. Sometimes I message him, trying to secretly get a bit of advice.
JC: Now, look, you have so much in common, yet your sports are completely different. What similarities do you think you two share outside of being – frankly for my liking – too good looking to be athletes? Like, Lewis, when you look at what Tom does, do you see any similarities?
LH: I do. I mean, I watch really closely what Tom has achieved, some of the things that Tom does in his training. How he prepares himself. How he conducts himself with his team. There are so many things that you can take from watching a great athlete like Tom that you can then apply to be a better athlete yourself.
JC: And Tom, do you look at other athletes like Lewis? Is he inspiring? Do you see any similarities in his dedication as an athlete?
Tom Brady: Yeah. I mean, Lewis was, from the time he was a teenager, one of the real prodigies of the sport. And Lewis already trained this morning for, I don’t know, 10, 12 hours, something like that. How many other people are doing that? That’s why he’s the greatest Formula One champion of all time.
JC: Just hearing you say that, Tom, you reminded me about when Lewis was young and you had won a kart tournament, and I think you went up to Ron Dennis, who was running the McLaren team, and you said, “Hi. I’m Lewis Hamilton, and I’m going to race for you one day.” And then, Tom. Am I right in thinking that when you first signed your professional contract, you said to the owner of that team, “I’m going to be the best decision you ever made.” Is that true?
TB: I had said that to the boss of my team. He tells the story a little differently because I said, “You’ll never regret picking me.” Now, I think he doesn’t quite remember the same way, but that’s how I remember. But I guess the point is there was a confidence that you got to have, and I always tell my teammates this, “You have to believe in yourself before anyone else believes in you” because when you get around your teammates, they’re going to look in your eyes. And if you look like you have confidence and belief in yourself, they’re going to believe in you and they’re going to believe
LH: I, at a young age, thought, “Okay. I know I can do this”. I had a lot of training and I was prepared, and I knew when I got my opportunity, I was going to take advantage. So, I was very fortunate to get the opportunity shortly after. I don’t know how it’s been for you, Tom, but in my life, absolutely everything that’s happened, it’s been something I visualized or dreamt of. I just gave everything to get to those places, of course, with a lot of help from great people around me. I had a vision and had that belief in myself, which enabled me to get it. And of course going back 10, 15 years, you
could have never imagined that those things would really come true. And to the boss, 10 years later, he gave me a deal and I won the world championship for him 10 years later. So, it’s crazy to hear that’s something similar to Tom.
JC: So much of both of your sports are about the significance of perfect timing. Tom, talk to me about the significance of perfect timing in a football game.
TB: I think when the timing is on your side and the rhythm is right, you’ve got to stay there, and you’ve got to find ways to maintain that. And that’s hard to do because there’s a lot of external forces coming at you because usually, you have an opponent who’s trying to do the same thing.
When you’re out of rhythm and your timing’s off, a lot of people still just charge at the same tempo, and I always think that’s a good opportunity to actually slow things down. And, hey, where are we at? How do we re-evaluate this? You get into the game and the first half of the game doesn’t go the way you want. Well, you’ve got to change the rhythm, change it. And then, once you get it, then you keep it.
LH: When I’m watching the game, Tom, how you’re finding someone, and then the split-second decision you take, it’s very, very similar. I guess I can relate in the split-second decisions I have to take in the races, and it is about getting into that rhythm.
JC: I know both of you have a shared love of watches. Lewis, what is it about watches that you love so much?
LH: I’ve always been into the mechanics of it. As a kid, I was always taking things apart and rebuilding them. When you look at one of these watches and there’s 500 pieces all put together by one person, the craftsmanship I think for me is fascinating. Plus, the pieces obviously are tiny. I remember getting my first watch, it was from Argos in England, and the watch is like six pounds. I remember saving up for that watch. I went to school and I felt really proud. I used to wear it outside my blazer, and I thought that it elevated me.
JC: What about you, Tom, when did you first discover your love of watches and what they represent?
TB: Certainly for men, there’s not a lot of jewellery that we typically wear, and a watch does, as Lewis said perfectly, elevate your look. In college, I knew I was going to become a professional and I had this image as my screensaver on my really old computer of a watch. It was the IWC GST Automatic Alarm from like the late ’90s. So, I had the screensaver and I thought, “If I ever make a few bucks, this would be the watch that I would want.” And I ended up buying my first watch at a Tourneau store on 57th Street in New York. And I just went in there at a random time and bought a watch that I still have, this beautiful IWC that I still have.
JC: What both the two of you have achieved in the past 12 months within your sport I think really separates being great from being the greatest of all time. Like, suddenly, it wasn’t a debate. It’s a fact. What is it that propels you on to just keep going and keep breaking records that you have already set?
TB: First of all, I think it’s a real love for what I’m doing. This isn’t like a job. It’s really a true love and I fell in love with what I was doing a long time ago. Lewis loves what he’s doing. Like, why take away one of the great loves of your life just arbitrarily to go do other things when maybe the timing is not right? I think the love for what I’m doing and then the willingness to continue to learn and to improve is what is really the most enjoyable thing. Ultimately, I was always trying to be my best, not the best. I always got satisfaction knowing that I prepared as hard as I could. I gave so much
emotionally to what I was doing. I gave so much to my teammates. I gave everything I had, and that’s the most satisfying thing. So, even if you don’t get the outcome you want, you’re still in a way satisfied. Although you’re probably not happy, there’s a satisfaction knowing that you gave your very best.
JC: What about you, Lewis? What keeps you going? Do you have a goal set in mind? Do you think “Well, I’m going to achieve that and then I’ll re-evaluate it?”
LH: Probably when I was younger, subconsciously, there were goals. The first step was just getting
to Formula One, and then the next was, “Okay, I’m here. I would love to get there.” And then, I reached that point, and then what was next? And that early journey is about your mission. And it’s very, very much your sole kind of goal. For me, when I was further along I realized I’m a part of a huge team of over 1,000 people, how can you elevate? How can you lift other people? And it’s a strange process going from being young in your teens where it’s all about your success to then seeing it being about a larger group.
JC: Let’s talk about superstitions, okay? I’ve never met an athlete or a sports star who doesn’t have some. Talk to me about your superstitions. Do you have any rituals that you do before a game or before a race that you feel bring you luck? Tom, do you have anything?
TB: This is the first day you have met someone that doesn’t have superstitions. There’s none.
LH: Same here. I’m not superstitious at all.
JC: You don’t lace your shoes in a certain way? You don’t do one glove on, next glove, nothing?
TB: Hey, if that’s the reason why we’re losing, we are screwed.
LH: Tom, did you ever have it? Did you have superstition?
TB: I didn’t.
LH: So, I did. When I was younger, I think I must have been 10 or 11, my brother gave me this conker, and it was my lucky conker. So, I put it in my suit. I don’t know what happened to the thing.
It came out my trouser leg or something, I lost this conker. And then, I had a lucky pair of underwear.
My mum shrunk them. It didn’t get ’til I was 17 or 18, and I had a sequence of how to get…So I was getting dressed, right sock first, left sock. These steps that I would take. And I remember I got in the car, I was in Germany, and I’m about to start the race, and my helmet wasn’t done up. So, I’ve missed one of those elements of these steps that I had made crucial to getting the job done. And I remember I crashed several seconds later. And after that, I was like, “This is ridiculous. This is all in my head”, and I basically got rid of that. And now, like Tom, I don’t have any of those things. I
think we probably create those things in our minds. And you’ll know from what Tom was saying, the psychological challenges that we face, you got to free your mind and let the greatness flow, I guess.
TB: It’s interesting because some days you’re really up. You walk into the stadium three hours before the game, like the Super Bowl. There’s more energy. You’re more amped up, right? So, what do I got to do? I got to bring myself down to a good place, so I can really be where I need to be mentally. Some days I walk in, I’m tired. Man, it’s a one o’clock game and maybe you had a Monday night game, and then, how do you get yourself up? Well, I put some music on. So, a lot of
it is there’s those instinctual things, too, that I never want to be so fixed and rigid that, “Oh, I have to do this.” Maybe I need something different on that particular day because life is not robotic.
JC: Now, both of you have hit some major milestones. Tom, yes or no answer. Seven rings, greatest of all time, are we going for number eight?
JC: Lewis, seven World Championship titles, equalling the best of all time, as well as the most race wins ever over a mammoth season. Are we going for number eight?
LH: I got to follow, Tom. Yes.
JC: This is great. How do you think either of you would fair in each other’s sports?
TB: I always thought I was a pretty good driver. Then in the mail this week, I got the most beautiful gift. [he holds up a Lewis Hamilton racing helmet] And you know what I realized? It doesn’t fit. So, how can I be a driver? How can I be a racing driver when the helmets don’t fit me?!
JC: Well, that’s a hell of a gift. So, hang on, Tom, are you going to repay this? Are you going to
send Lewis an NFL helmet?
TB: I’m going to send him one of mine. I’m going to see how he likes it. But I think we could get Lewis in there for a few plays. I’ve seen his athletic ability. He’s pretty talented in a lot of areas. I think he could do some things on the football field.
LH: I would run the opposite way. Seeing those guys, the size that they are! No, I don’t know if I could do it.
TB: No, I actually think, Lewis, you’d be good making those runs because you’re so good at anticipating danger.
LH: I got short legs. The RPM of my legs are going to have to be super high.
JC: Now, I wanted to play a quick game of true or false, okay? We’re going to pit you against each other, okay? You both know how to dominate your respective sports. Now, we’re going to find out how well you two know each other. So, what we’re going to do, we’re going to put 60 seconds on the clock.
TB: Do I need to put my game face on?
JC: Yeah, you need your game face. This is it. This is serious. This is the biggest tournament either of you will ever be part of, okay?! So, we’re going to put 60 seconds on the clock. It’s going to have a knowledge test with a simple true or false, okay? Tom, you’re going to go first. These questions are all about Lewis Hamilton. And your time starts now.
JC: Lewis can lose around eight pounds of weight during a single race.
JC: It is true. That’s my new diet.
TB: Hey, you’re wasting my time!
JC: I’ll add three seconds. Lewis has won 90 races during his career, true or false?
TB: False. Way more than that. Ninety-five.
JC: Correct. Lewis eats an entirely plant-based diet, true or false?
TB: We got true.
JC: True. True or false, Lewis featured on the Christina Aguilera song “Not Myself Tonight?”
JC: It was false. It was “Pipe” under the pseudonym XNDA. Okay. True or false, Lewis has a cameo in the Pixar movie “Cars 2?”
TB: True. Boom!
JC: True is correct. Okay. Lewis was just 13 years old when he got his first Formula One contract?
JC: True is absolutely right. Look at that. He got six questions right. So, Lewis, your best chance here is to tie with Tom Brady. There’s a lot of pressure on your shoulders now. The best you could do is tie.
TB: Let’s keep that in mind. If you do your best, all you could do is tie.
LH: He’s psyching me out.
JC: He really was! He was really getting in your mind there. Okay. Here we go. Questions for Lewis. Lewis, here we go, 60 seconds on the clock, please. These questions are all about Tom Brady. Tue or false, Tom Brady has never had a cup of coffee?
JC: It is true! Tom, you should try it. It’s so good! Okay. Question two. Tom threw for 2,217 yards and 16 touchdowns his senior year playing for the Ohio State Bucks?
JC: False. You’re right. He played for the Michigan Wolverines. True or false, Tom was the 89th pick in the 2000 NFL draft?
JC: It’s 199th. True or false, Tom drinks a minimum of 112 ounces of water a day? That’s 14 glasses, true or false?
LH: I’m going to say true.
JC: True is right. Professional baseball team, the Montreal Expos, wanted to sign Tom in ’95 before he turned them down, true or false?
JC: Okay, great. Tom Brady made a cameo in the HBO series Entourage, true or false?
JC: And it’s true. Look at that. An incredible draw. There is greatness in both of you. Look at this. Seven championships, seven Formula One championships, and now you’ve drawn in this as well.
I cannot tell you, Tom and Lewis, any time I’ve been around either of you, it is always a thrill to be in your orbit. But to get this moment to talk to you both together is an absolute thrill for me. It really, really is. Congratulations on everything you have achieved in your sports and everything that you’re going to carry on doing. We know the debate will rage on about who is the greatest sprinter, basketball star, tennis player, but there is no question that you two belong amongst the sporting greatest of all times.
Thank you for joining me today for an inspiring and brilliant conversation. Tom Brady, thank you so
much Lewis Hamilton, thank you so much. Best of luck for the future, fellas!