AUSTIN, Texas — Lewis Hamilton intends to take Tom Cruise up on an offer to go flying in his P-51 Mustang and wants to get a pilot’s license of his own.
Hamilton considered taking up a roll acting alongside Cruise in the recent “Top Gun: Maverick” movie but couldn’t find a way to combine the filming commitments with his race schedule.
However, Cruise has offered Hamilton a flight in his vintage aircraft, a World War II-era P-51 Mustang, which is featured in the film, and the Mercedes driver intends to take him up on the offer.
“Tom has an amazing World War II plane and he’s been telling me ‘anytime you want to go up in it’ and I’ve never been up in it,” Hamilton told ESPN. “I think he took James Corden up in it a while ago, so I’ve got to get myself out in it.”
Hamilton recently raced his Mercedes W12 car against a L-39 Albatross jet as part of a promotional event with a team sponsor. He said he was given a stint at the controls and intends to make time in his schedule to get a pilot’s license of his own.
“It was amazing!” Hamilton said. “I’d been up in a Red Arrow many years ago, but this was a slightly quicker jet and I got to have more of a play. I was barrel rolling, I was doing backward loop the loops, forward loop the loops — from the moment we took off I was in control.
“He took off the runway and then he gave me the stick and it was amazing, it was crazy. I can’t wait to do it again; I can’t wait to do it more.
“I’m already looking into how and when I can do my pilot’s license, because I know Tom is fully licensed and is amazing in both helicopters and planes. He’s been telling me to get a flight simulator for ages, so I think it’s about time.
“I can pretty much drive anything with an engine — I was born with that. That’s a gift I guess that I have.”