Anthony Hamilton says he is just as fired up about the challenge of helping other youngsters become future stars in Formula 1 as he ever was about helping own son Lewis.
Hamilton stopped looking after Lewis' career earlier this year, and his main focus is now on looking after Force India reserve driver Paul di Resta and rising karting star Nyck de Vries, plus he is involved in plans for the new GP Prep testing academy.
And despite having already lived through several highs and lows before son Lewis become F1 world champion, Hamilton says he is more than ready to throw his all behind helping others make it to the top.
"I enjoy helping people who want my help – and who don't always have the funds or the wherewithal to achieve their dreams," Hamilton told AUTOSPORT. "You can't do it for everybody – but when you believe in somebody you can put your heart and soul into them, and that is what I can do with Paul. I have got the same belief with my other driver, Nyck de Vries. He is a wonder, an absolute wonder and a very exciting prospect for the future.
"Helping others is my new challenge and so I will put my heart and soul into helping Paul and Nyck achieve their dreams of F1. Nyck is still only 15, so it is early days for him, but he is signed to the McLaren Young Driver program, which is great and they are really excited about him."
Hamilton returned to the F1 paddock at Silverstone this weekend after being invited by son Lewis – and he also used the opportunity to take a close look at di Resta's progress at Force India on Friday. Although admitting that he had been a bit nervous about returning to the F1 world for the first time since the deal with his son ended, Hamilton said he instantly felt at home again.
"It feels really good," he said. "I was a little bit apprehensive about coming back, but things have moved on and these are new times. I've come back, not as Lewis's manager, but still a manager in the business looking after other drivers. The reaction from people in the paddock has been fantastic, and that has made me feel good. I know it has only been six months, but it is like nothing has changed."
He added: "It is the same passion. It is funny, because I was standing in the garage watching Paul during FP1 [for Force India], and I found myself doing the same things I did when Lewis was in the car. I've actually now realized that it is passion and nothing else. I used to stand in the garage watching Lewis, with my arms folded and stroking my chin, with my brow furrowed. And I did all that when Paul was in the car."
Hamilton says he has no doubts that doth di Resta and de Vries can be as big stars in the future as Hamilton is now.
"I have always worked on the belief that every seven years, a mega star comes along," he said. "I believed Lewis was a mega star in the making, but he has surpassed that in my eyes. I think Paul is an extremely hidden talent. And I think if the right team signs him up and gets him in the car then I think he will prove to be one of the greatest and longest serving drivers in F1 – along with the other greats. And then after that, I think Nyck will be a surprise of the future."
Although there have been various reports about the state of the relationship between Anthony and his son, he makes it clear he still fully backs Lewis.
"The reality is that nothing has really changed," he explained. "Lewis and I are still father and son – we have always been, just sometimes it can get lost in the mix. But I am his dad, and I will always be his dad. I love him, he loves me – and I am still his biggest fan. So nothing has changed – we both do our own things now, but still with care for each other."