Finding an Edge with Lewis Hamilton
In our video Finding an Edge, we see Lewis Hamilton in a brand new optic as he dissects some key factors in his life that made him one of the most successful Formula 1 drivers on the planet.
The protagonists in this fiercely competitive sport of Formula 1 rely on immense skill, instincts, patience and determination to succeed but also on a hidden force which they thrive on. While Lewis is no exception to this, he has rarely followed the herd in his quest to find a winning formula. Instead he has decided to front up to the critics who repeatedly belittled him, harnessing his fears to rouse within him an energy and freedom that make him totally unique.
Originating from a humble background, Hamilton began go-karting at the tender age of 8 and after winning the McLaren Mercedes Drivers of the Future Championship, was drafted into their young driver program in 1997. By 2001, he was driving for British Formula Renault, winning the title in 2003 which would act as a springboard into Formula 1. He debuted for McLaren Mercedes in 2007 and won his first World Championship in 2008, a remarkable feat at just 23. Since then, he has cemented his place as one of the most successful drivers of all time, joining Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport in 2013 for whom he won a stunning brace of Championships in 2014 and 2015. The team continued its dominance in 2016, taking the Constructors' title in an epic battle in which his team-mate Nico Rosberg finally took the Drivers' crown. In 2017, Lewis returned to the top by taking his fourth Drivers' title, making him the most successful British driver in the history of the sport.
What is fascinating about Lewis is his reluctance to conform to the norms which one would associate with an elite athlete. His background does not exude privilege or prestige, yet he was supported by a strong father figure whom he cites as one of the motivational factors which helped him succeed. He did not rely on the stories of other drivers, instead looking to childhood heroes such as Mohammed Ali for inspiration. Yet he has also been fueled by an urge to prove his doubters wrong, generating within him the energy and freedom to succeed ; an edge which nobody else can parallel.
So what does the future have in store for Lewis? Surely he will be aiming for further success with the silver arrows and push to equal Michael Schumacher's incredible feat of securing 7 titles or indeed replicate some of the achievements of another inspiration, Ayrton Senna. At the top of his game, few would doubt his capacity to do so. Yet he also sees a life beyond racing where he can once again use his edge to find success in a new arena. The future is bright for the British whizz kid and we look forward to carry him from strength to strength.
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The Decision: a conversation with...
This series is about the 3-4 critical life decisions everyone makes. Some of the world's greatest achievers in and outside F1 told us about their key moments and how they shaped who they've become. Retirement is obviously one of these life questions. Why, when and how to make that "gear shift" is not always obvious, both in sports and business. The next steps are not always clear either..
Valtteri Bottas – Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport driver
Nico Rosberg – 2016 Formula One World Champion and UBS F1 Ambassador
Didier Cuche – Former World Ski Champion 2009 and UBS F1 Ambassador
Nico Rosberg & Didier Cuche
How much do you have to save for retirement?
The UBS International Pension Gap Index reviews the mandatory pension systems of 12 countries worldwide. Our Chief Investment Office concludes that private savings are crucial for retirement, no matter where in the world you live.
Fast asleep: apply F1's model to optimize your performance
How do you function on 5 hours of sleep? Do you even notice a difference to 8 hours of sleep? Or have you long gotten used to content yourself with 6 hours per night?
For some time, sleep has been occupying a subordinate position in most of our lives. The assumption that it can be made up for later in the week or month is a popular belief. More often than not, sleep is being sacrificed for more important things - like performance. Top-performing athletes, however, beg to differ. They have long since realized that sleep is indeed a key for achieving superior results.
For this reason, the team behind Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport has started working together with experts on the topic of sleep and recovery. Following their collaboration with Hintsa Performance and Professor Steven Lockley, the whole team is sticking to individual sleep plans, enabling them to get the best out of their hectic schedule (often including several different time zones per week) and avoiding jet lag. Besides going to bed at fixed times, the team further pays attention to exposure to light, the use of caffeine, mealtimes and more.
Why is sleep more important than we think?
According to Prof. Lockley, nobody knows why we sleep, but the biological and psychological aspects that are linked to the recovery we experience during sleep make it highly important - a key component of wellness and ability to perform. While today's increasingly 24/7 society forces us to make time for work, family and other social pressures, getting a minimum of 7 hours of sleep should be made an absolute priority. Long work hours, chronic caffeine and exposure to the glow of computer or mobile screens late into the night are familiar to many, but only few are aware of the implications of a lack of sleep in the short and long run. Throwing off the body clock, or circadian rhythm, as is done frivolously can lead to far more than sleep problems, including an increased risk of developing diabetes, depression, obesity and even some forms of cancer.
The importance of Light
The key to controlling our circadian rhythm is light – it suppresses melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep. Functioning as a natural time cue, it resets the clock inside the brain on a daily basis, in order to stay synchronized with the 24-hour day. Besides our sleep and wake cycle, this clock is also involved in our mood, alertness and performance, and it influences our hormones and heart rate, among other functions. It is for this influence that light has on us that our sleep has been additionally manipulated in modern times: With the introduction of electric light, we stopped falling asleep shortly after dusk. Today's heavy use of electronic devices during the day and especially in the evening is further responsible for our lack of sleep: the blue light emitted by electronic screens suppresses the production of melatonin.
The significance of light has a different consequence to blind individuals – many of them suffer from a condition called "Non-24-Hour Sleep-Wake Disorder", caused by the inability to synchronize with the natural cycle of about 24 hours. The disorder brings about difficulties to sleep, resulting in a condition that feels like a never-ending jet lag.
Fighting jet lag
The mechanism responsible for jet lag is a shift of the sleep-wake and light-dark cycle too quickly for the body clock to keep up with. There's no miracle cure for jet lag, but following a couple of rules can help a lot in minimizing the implications that changing time zones has on us. The most important thing is to plan ahead, like Mercedes-AMG Petronas does. The right planning enables the team to shift their inner clock about 3 hours a day - without the program, they would only be able to shift it 1 hour per day. Depending on the direction of the trip, again, light exposure plays an important role. And so, when travelling westward, the inner clock needs to be delayed later. To do this, it's recommended to see light later in the evening and go to bed later than usual a few days prior to departure. When travelling eastward on the other hand, the clock needs to be advanced earlier by going to bed earlier a few nights before leaving and seeing light in the morning in order to shift on to the new time.
Hintsa Performance is a network of medical experts and renowned specialists, helping top-performers and business leaders unlock their full potential with holistic individual coaching on all aspects around well-being. For more information, please see
Dr. Steven Lockley
Dr. Steven Lockley is part of these experts. He is a Neuroscientist in the Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Sleep Medicine, Harvard Medical School.
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Thoughts of a world champion
We met F1 World Champion Nico Rosberg to talk to him about topics that affect us all.
In a world where everything is happening so fast, decisions need to be made within split seconds, how do you set your priorities? When it feels like time is running out, would you have thought that slowing down and taking more time for certain things might be the key to success? According to Nico, it's the simple things that can make a difference.
Decision making is crucial for business and private life alike. While we often rely on careful planning when making decisions, sometimes instincts can prove to be the right guide through key moments. Watch Nico talk about some of the most important decisions in his life and how he had to learn to go against a certain kind of addiction.
Being a firm believer in empowerment, Nico Rosberg knows how important trust is to enable superior performance in a team. Click play for his further comments on empathy and second chances.
In order to stay ahead of competition, change and innovation are indispensable. To secure future success, Formula 1 teams have to plan very far in advance. Nico Rosberg shares how he has experienced legacy, from a professional and a personal side.
The Attention Paradox: Winning By Slowing Down
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Man vs. machine?
Increasingly state-of-the-art and long since a staple of science fiction, artificial intelligence (AI) is currently reemerging, contributing to the broader trend of intelligent automation. Knowingly and unknowingly, we are starting to experience AI on a regular basis, be it through Apple’s Siri or the memory features of the cars we drive.
With the advancement of intelligent automation, numerous benefits are expected to impact on the way that businesses are conducted. The banking industry expects intelligent automation to contribute to increased productivity, the generation of insights and even decision-making in the near future. But across other industries as well, routine work will increasingly be executed by machines, empowering humans to concentrate on more creative, value-added services.
Hosted by UBS as part of the Singapore Grand Prix thought leadership platform, the Man vs. Machine event in September 2016 brought together insiders from a range of different sectors. The event featured guests such as James Vowles, Chief Strategist at Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, and Nico Rosberg, F1 World Champion 2016. James Aylen, Head of UBS Evolve (Centre for Design Thinking and Innovation), was then joined by Simon Kahn, Dr. Jeremy Lim and Sopnendu Mohanty for a panel discussion on decision-making in light of progressive automation trends.
Man vs. Machine
September 14th, 2016
Chief Strategist at Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport
Formula 1 World Champion 2016
Toto Wolff - F1 entrepreneur
As different as success stories can be, there are elements that most of them share. Setbacks, big or small, for instance, can happen to anybody at any time. How you deal with them and come out the other side will eventually define your success, according to Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport. "Success shouldn't be judged at halftime. The day you retire you need to judge whether you've been successful or not.", he says.
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