Even Lewis Hamilton Can't Beat This Notoriously Difficult Level

Even Lewis Hamilton Can't Beat This Notoriously Difficult Level

Even Lewis Hamilton Can't Beat This Notoriously Difficult Level

Max Verstappen’s love of sim racing is no secret. In his spare time, the Dutch driver swaps his Red Bull F1 racecar for a sim rig, competing in iRacing and rFactor 2 to sharpen his skills on the track.

By contrast, Lewis Hamilton isn’t an avid sim racer, but he grew up playing racing games like Gran Turismo and Colin McRae Rally.

In a nostalgic video posted on the Mercedes-AMG F1 team’s YouTube channel, Hamilton looks back his favourite retro racing games on the original PlayStation. But one level is so difficult that even the seven-time F1 World Champion can’t beat it.

“Damnit, I can’t get past this first stage”

First released in 1999 on the original PlayStation, the original Driver was groundbreaking. At a time when GTA was a rudimentary top-down game, Driver let you burn rubber in open 3D cities based on Miami, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York, recreating classic 1970s car chase movies like Bullitt and The French Connection.

However, Driver is also infamous for its notoriously tricky tutorial level. A homage to the car park sequence in Walter Hill’s The Driver, the first level tasks you with performing a series of manoeuvres in an underground car park, from handbrake turns to reverse 180s.

What makes this so hard is that you have to execute all 12 moves in under 60 seconds. This meant most players couldn't get past the first level, and it proved too difficult even for a seven-time F1 World Champion.

“Driver was wicked,” Hamilton said excitedly before wrecking his car and failing the level. “Damnit, I can’t get past this first stage?”

Lewis Hamilton Driver
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In an interview with PC Gamer, Driver’s creator Martin Edmondson later admitted the level was too difficult for the average player: "I could do that garage in just under 25 seconds. So to me, giving you 60 seconds was plenty of time. Well, it wasn't. If I went back and played it now I probably couldn't do it."

At least now a generation of gamers can feel better knowing that even an F1 World Champion can't beat Driver's infamous opening level.

"The best racing game I've tried"

Hamilton also discusses his gaming history in the video, revealing that his first console was the original Nintendo. Regarding driving games, the Mercedes F1 driver “used to love Colin McRae Rally” and thinks that Gran Turismo is “definitely the best racing game I tried,” praising the revolutionary driving physics for the time.

Lewis Hamilton Gran Turismo
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Hamilton also attempts to play EA’s F1 2000 as he relives his time racing for McLaren in the late 2000s.

Hamilton has a penchant for old-school games, completing games like Super Mario, Mortal Kombat, and Street Fighter. As for his current gaming habits, Hamilton says he enjoys playing Call of Duty and Fortnite.

Do you have nightmares about Driver’s infamous tutorial level? Let us know in the comments below.

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