Lewis Hamilton pranks school children with disguise as ageing Mercedes employee

Lewis Hamilton has boosted his chances of an unlikely career as a prank show host once his F1 racing days are over by successfully pulling the wool over the eyes of some school children.

The seven-time world champion did his best Ant and Dec impression as he wore prosthetics to change his appearance.

His targets were a group of school children who were touring the Mercedes base in Brackley.

They were shown around the factory and spoken to by someone they thought was an ageing staff member – all the while entirely unaware that they were actually in the company of the most successful F1 racer of all time.

Disguised with wrinkles, glasses and a bushy fake beard, Hamilton spoke to three children about their desire to one day enter the industry.

But they were left shell-shocked when the racer later pulled of the prosthetics to reveal it had been him all along.

One of the youngsters said he was speechless, and all three of them were then given a chance to hold Hamilton's hi-tech F1 steering wheel.

The world champion then spoke to the stunned school children about the importance of education in chasing their dream of a future in the sport.

"Education I know is key for every child and we're in a time more than ever before where we need to make sure we're providing opportunities and also enabling the younger generation to understand what they are," he said.

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"There are a lot of youngsters who don't realise that being an engineer, for example, is an avenue that they can go down.

"We're really trying to have a positive impact on the people that we meet, in particular the youth, and I'm proud of the things we are doing together."

The trip to the factory was organised by Mercedes sponsor UBS, the finance firm which is investing in quality education in the UK.

Chief marketing officer Johan Jervoe said: "This is a mindset that fits with our own beliefs.

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"Education is critical to inspire and empower young people from any background, thereby helping to forge a more equal society."

Hamilton is bidding for his eighth F1 world title this season, but is currently 12 points off the pace.

Max Verstappen leads the way in the drivers' standings with five races to go, after doubling his lead with a win at the United States Grand Prix last weekend.

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