Not Even Lewis Hamilton Can Complete The Driver Tutorial Mission

The seven-time F1 champion couldn’t manage the 1999 game’s infamously tricky opening mission
Lewis Hamilton plays Driver
Lewis Hamilton plays Driver

If you’ve played the classic 1999 PlayStation game, Driver, you’ll be well aware of its notorious difficulty. The title, which was one of the first 3D open-world driving games, is particularly infamous for its challenging opening mission, which was only intended as a tutorial for the main game.

The mission in question requires the player to complete a series of precision driving moves within a tight timeframe, and is likely responsible for a huge number of damaged DualShock controllers around the turn of the century.

If you’ve ever felt bad about your inability to complete it, though, then don’t worry – it’s even a struggle for the most successful F1 driver of all time.

Lewis Hamilton gets to grips with the game in a video on the Mercedes-AMG F1 team’s YouTube channel, in which he sits down for a nostalgic play of some classic PS1 racing games from his childhood. They include Ridge Racer, F1 2000, Ayrton Senna Kart Duel, and – what else? – the original Gran Turismo.

Firing up Driver, though, Hamilton can’t get past that brutally difficult tutorial mission, being repeatedly met with the needlessly snarky “You ran out of time! Loser…” text on the bottom of the screen.

Lewis Hamilton plays retro racing games
Lewis Hamilton plays retro racing games

Things don’t improve too much for a lap of Interlagos behind the wheel of a McLaren MP4/15 in F1 2000. Then again, it’s unlikely a 25-year-old video game provides a particularly good approximation of what it’s like lapping the real track in modern F1 machinery.

Finally, Hamilton boots up Gran Turismo, calling the series “the best racing game that I’ve tried.” With the original 1997 game not featuring cars from either his current employers, Mercedes, or his team for next year, Ferrari, he opts for the classic combo of an R33 Nissan Skyline GT-R at Trial Mountain. Things go a bit better here, although only with the aid of some overtakes that would probably lead to a steward’s inquiry at the very least…


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