Hamilton discovered purpose not just to be a racing driver

Jamie Woodhouse
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, walks and applauds. Bahrain March 2022.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, walks and applauds in Bahrain. March 2022.

Lewis Hamilton has said that as time has passed, he discovered that while Drivers’ titles are great personally, his purpose was to inspire change.

Hamilton statistically is tied with Michael Schumacher as the most successful Formula 1 driver of all time as a seven-time World Champion, though he comfortably holds several other outright records, including most race wins, podiums and pole positions in the series.

And while very much still focused on chasing that record-breaking eighth crown, Hamilton has spent the recent years becoming increasingly vocal regarding inequalities which he sees in Formula 1, pushing to make it a more diverse series which features people from a range of different backgrounds.

As he grew older, Hamilton said it became clear to him that this was his purpose, to use the platform he had carved to generate positive reforms, not only in Formula 1 but in wider society also.

Lewis Hamilton waves on the podium. Bahrain March 2022.
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton salutes the fans after finishing on the podium. Bahrain March 2022.

“I think as I started getting older, I started thinking I am winning these championships but what does it really mean and I realised that these championships are very rewarding personally, but they’re not changing anything,” Hamilton told Sky Sports F1.

“You have another credit to your name but it doesn’t change the world, it doesn’t change the fact we still have wars, we still have racial injustice, there are still people being abused, there are all sorts of things out there so what are we going to use this medium for, what are we going to use this platform for.

“I guess I really discovered my purpose, it’s not just being a racing driver.”

 

In terms of Formula 1, Hamilton sees it as his “role” to work with the series’ CEO Stefano Domenicali to shape the future.

And being able to use his platform to make change happen, Hamilton says is “more rewarding than any championship”.

“That’s my role here I think to continue to hold those conversations, sit with Stefano and say what are you doing and how can we work together?” Hamilton explained.

“It goes back to bringing people on the journey rather than calling people out and unfortunately it takes a lot of yapping, but I think people seem more keen to be on the journey together and they empathise more with it and say yes, we can do a better job.

“I’ve got this platform and I am able to apply pressure in an uncomfortable way sometimes but also it is a real opportunity to spark that change and that for me is more rewarding than any championship.

“My goal is that in the next five, ten years you’re looking back at the sport and I am watching TV, hopefully with my kids, and they see young women engineers and mechanics and they’ll know there is an opportunity.”

 

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