Lewis Hamilton recalls the terrifying moment he thought he was going to DIE… and it wasn’t behind the wheel of an F1 car

Lewis Hamilton may drive one of the fastest cars in the world for a living, but his terrifying, near-death experience didn’t occur on a race track.

The seven-time Formula 1 world champion revealed the scary incident happened in Hawaii while surfing the infamous Pipeline with Kelly Slater.

‘It was 20-foot waves and Kelly was like “there’s no way you’re coming out there,”‘ Hamilton said during an interview on Hot Ones, which dropped Thursday.

‘As I started to try to paddle in, I got sucked into the kill zone,’ he went on.

‘I turn around and see this set of four waves coming. [I thought] “it’s over, it’s all over.”‘

Lewis Hamilton recalled a near-death experience during a new Hot Ones interview
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Lewis Hamilton recalled a near-death experience during a new Hot Ones interview

He said the incident took place when he was trying his hand at surfing in Hawaii
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He said the incident took place when he was trying his hand at surfing in Hawaii

The Mercedes driver, who counts the 11-time World Surfing League champ as a friend, said he jumped off his board and dove underwater to hold onto the reef.

‘I could hear this wave crash above me,’ he recalled.

‘My board got ripped off and snapped in half. I came back up gasping for air but the next one was coming so I went back down.’

Hamilton, who was eating an ultra spicy wing while telling the harrowing story, said he dove underwater three more times.

Hamilton, who was surfing with Kelly Slater, thought 'it was all over' as the wave approached
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Hamilton, who was surfing with Kelly Slater, thought ‘it was all over’ as the wave approached

'My board snapped in half. I came back up gasping for air but the next one was coming,' he said
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‘My board snapped in half. I came back up gasping for air but the next one was coming,’ he said

The seven-time F1 champ eventually made it back to shore after the set of '20-foot' waves
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The seven-time F1 champ eventually made it back to shore after the set of ’20-foot’ waves

‘I nearly ran out of air, I nearly drowned,’ he said.

Luckily, he ‘managed to swim back’ to shore from there.

Back in 2019, the British athlete joined Slater at his state-of-the-art Surf Ranch, in California’s central San Joaquin valley.

The facility, which is powered by renewable energy, is credited with creating the world’s largest open-barrel artificial wave.

‘New year, new sport, time to learn new things. Thank you #goat Kelly Slater for teaching me! That was rad,’ Hamilton captioned a post at the time.

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