Lewis Hamilton: “My goal in Formula One is more than winning world championships” claimed the former champion after the Bahrain Grand Prix. Sir Lewis Hamilton hopes that in 10 years’ time people from all walks of life will be able to look at F1 and know that it is a sport where they are welcome.
Lewis Hamilton hopes to see “real progression” in Formula One as he continues his fight for more diversity in the paddock, a cause he has championed throughout his driving career.
Hamilton sat down with Naomi Schiff in Bahrain where he scored a surprise podium finish after Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez suffered engine problems, paving the way for Mercedes driver and new team-mate George Russell to come home in third and fourth.
Although ambitious to win an eighth world championship, Hamilton insists there is more to his own success on the track, his desire for more diversity in the sport drives him to ensure the big conversations take place.
Speaking about his goals for Formula One in the future, he said: “It’s my role here, I think, to continue to have those conversations, to sit down with Stefano (Domenicali) and say what are you doing and how can we work together?
“It comes down to bringing people on the journey rather than calling people and unfortunately it takes a lot of yapping, but I think people seem more willing to go on the journey together and they sympathise more with that and say yes, we can do a better job.
“I have that platform and I’m able to apply pressure sometimes uncomfortably, but it’s also a real opportunity to trigger that change and that’s more rewarding to me than any championship.
“My goal is that over the next five or 10 years you’ll be watching the sport and I’ll be watching TV, hopefully with my kids, and they’ll see young female engineers and mechanics and know that there’s an opportunity.”
Having stepped away from social media after last season’s dramatic final race in Abu Dhabi, Hamilton has begun to reflect on what his legacy in the sport will be and how these platforms can help him build it.
Lewis Hamilton wears his ‘We Stand Together’ helmet in Qatar
He said: “When I was younger and first getting into social media, it was basically about building your platform, because obviously the more followers you have, the more influence you have.
“Then, as I started to get older, realising that when I press this button, it shows up on other people’s phones, what do I want this message to say.
“I was like I want to take a step back, I want to re-evaluate my life, re-evaluate where I’m at and I realised I’m not going to let this define my career, this is a moment but there are going to be other great moments in the future.
“I think as I got older I started to think I was winning these championships, but what does it really mean and I realised that these championships are very rewarding personally, but they don’t change anything.”
Lewis Hamilton talks about losing the world championship in Abu Dhabi, how it affected him and his ongoing relationship with the sport.
“You have another credit to your name but it doesn’t change the world, it doesn’t change the fact that we still have wars, we still have racial injustices, there’s still people being mistreated, there’s 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’ve really discovered my purpose, it’s not just to be a race driver.”