Page last updated at 08:41 GMT, Thursday, 11 December 2008

Hamilton in drink-drive campaign

Lewis Hamilton and Boris Johnson
Hamilton (left) said he was always happy to be the designated driver

Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton has got behind the wheel of a London black cab to back an anti-drink-drive campaign.

Hamilton teamed up with double world champion Mika Hakkinen to hail public transport drivers who get people home safely as "the real champions".

They drove cabs across Tower Bridge towards City Hall where they met drivers from Transport for London.

Hamilton said: "Our message is simple: never drink and drive."

'Tragic waste'

He added: "If you are out celebrating, use a designated driver, whether that is a taxi, bus, Tube or train driver or a friend who doesn't drink that evening.

"Ever since I passed my driving test, whenever I go out with my friends I'm always happy to be the designated driver.

Lewis Hamilton on the anti-drink drive campaign

"That way I know everyone gets home safely."

Hakkinen said: "It's great we've been able to come to London and highlight the real champions, the people who get us home safely every day of the week."

Last year, 460 people were killed and about 1,750 seriously injured in the UK as a result of drinking.

London Mayor Boris Johnson said: "Too many lives are tragically wasted through drink-driving accidents, so I hope that the message really gets through by having Lewis and Mika, two of the world's most talented and renowned car drivers, leading the call for people to think before getting into a car."

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