Exclusive interview with Lewis Hamilton
It’s tough to be an elite athlete, constantly being judged against your peers and having every little detail of your personal life scrutinised in case it is affecting your performance. It’s probably even tougher when there are only 19 other people doing what you do, and you’re the only one representing the black community in a very white-male-dominated world. But that’s what Lewis Hamilton has been doing since 2007, and through the ups and downs he has turned himself into the most successful Formula 1 driver ever, and stands on the verge of setting new records this year.
Like many drivers, Hamilton has multiple other interests, but he also has great opportunities as a truly global superstar who transcends his sport. That provides him with a platform that he is working to make sense of in order to use it in the best possible way.
“I love what I am doing, I love the challenge each year working with this incredible group of people, trying to pull out more from them, trying to pull out more from me, and I enjoy that process still so I want to continue with that".
As he embraces his passion for music as well as fashion - confirming in July that he was XNDA on the Christina Aguilera single ‘Pipe’ - he admits his ongoing F1 success actually allows him more time to put his energy into other projects.
“I don’t know how to describe myself. But I would say that there have been multiple humbling experiences this year and I do remember the feeling of not just wanting to be a sportsman. The way sportsmen and women are perceived as just doing that one thing… You know I was wondering all this winning - what does it really mean if you can’t have an impact? If you can’t help change things for the positive?
But it’s F1 that has made him one of the richest sportsmen in the world, and allied to his huge on-track success it’s understandable Hamilton wouldn’t want to walk away from it too early.
There was a moment that I thought that when I leave, I want to leave on top and that will be it. But what I’ve realised particularly this year, is I think I have a responsibility to the F1 community for what it has helped me create to push for that change.