Lewis Hamilton says the “contagious” part of his quest for continued Formula 1 success is making other people happy.
The seven-time World Champion is only one short of 100 F1 race wins – and that remarkable milestone could be reached on the home territory of his 2021 title rival, Max Verstappen, in the Dutch Grand Prix.
Although he has enjoyed monumental individual glory, Hamilton increasingly talks about the collective effort – having helped Mercedes to seven consecutive Constructors’ titles.
Rather than striving for an eighth Drivers’ title with his own personal gain as the top priority, the Briton insists he derives as much pleasure from bringing joy and satisfaction to his colleagues.
“I don’t think it’s the winning that’s the addictive part,” said Hamilton, quoted by GPFans.
“Maybe when you are younger, that’s probably the thing you are chasing all the time and, of course, that’s what we are chasing.
“But I think it’s what’s going on in the background that people don’t necessarily get to see. It’s that grafting, that ride of emotions you have with each and every individual within your team, both at the track and at the factory.
“It’s quite a long-distance relationship you have with people at the factory because there are so many and naturally you don’t get to see them all the time, but you are all in the same boat rowing in the same direction.
“It’s that journey and then seeing the happiness on people’s faces when you have the success – that’s probably the part that’s contagious and something I would say I mostly chase.”
Eyes on Zandvoort 👀
Fresh race weekend, fresh opportunities 💪 pic.twitter.com/yn3j5Q2VHT
— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) August 31, 2021
Hamilton joined Mercedes in 2013 and from the following year onwards, the team have carried all before them.
“I could never have expected or imagined we would have the success we’ve had, but when you look at the group of people I get to work with it’s no surprise,” added the 36-year-old, who holds a three-point lead over Verstappen in the World Championship.
“The energy within the team, if you look at HPP [High Performance Powertrains], what they have been able to do over all this time and continuously year upon year has been really inspiring to see.
“We’ve all had to bring our A-game time after time and that’s what’s exciting about this sport.
“Every year is a new challenge and technology is continuing to advance and we’ve been at the forefront of that. Naturally, I feel really grateful.”