LEWIS HAMILTON says his marketing campaign to advertise equality means extra to him than his seventh world title.
The Brit can equal Michael Schumacher’s file of seven championships this weekend in Turkey – offering he finishes forward of his teammate Valtteri Bottas.
Lewis Hamilton has worn a ‘Black Lives Matter’ T-shirt throughout many F1 weekends this seasonCredit score: Getty Pictures – Getty
Hamilton is seeking to equal F1 legend Michael Schumacher by way of most driver’s championshipsCredit score: AP:Related Press
Hamilton, 35, has been unstoppable throughout this Covid-hit season, successful 9 of the 13 races.
Whereas off observe, he has promoted Black Lives Matter, highlighted inequality and environmental points internationally.
He has used his platform as F1’s most profitable driver of all time to assist elevate consciousness to his followers and says that’s extra particular to him than one other title.
He stated: “The numbers and the figures and the titles and all that stuff, it maybe seems to imply extra from the skin.
“Watching the TV and watching Michael get the seventh and being like, ‘wow, that is seven’.
“However whenever you’re in it, it is totally different. We’ll proceed to struggle for extra championships, we’ll proceed to try to enhance and proceed to race and do what we love doing.
“What’s vital is that journey. This yr has been mixed with the struggle for equality and studying what’s taking place all over the world and being a bit bit extra conscious of environment.
“Naturally, matching an icon like Michael, I might be extremely pleased with that. However I feel it is extra the message that it sends to individuals.
“Not simply children however hopefully largely children as a result of they’re the longer term, that you must dream larger than you suppose and do not let anybody inform you you’ll be able to’t go for that.”
Maybe, provided that the title takes second billing to his equality work, Hamilton says he’s not fascinated by matching Schumacher’s whole this weekend.
As an alternative he needs to take all of it in his stride figuring out that he has a cushty 85 level margin over Bottas with 4 races to go this season.
He added: “I’m simply centered on attempting to do an excellent job, simply taking it one race at a time, attempting to do the most effective we will as a group, not fascinated by anything.
“I’ve realized to not add stress that is pointless. I’ve 4 races to battle for these factors, so I do not put all of it onto one weekend, in the future.
“For me it’s one other race, I have to method it precisely as I’ve prior to now.
“Possibly then that is why typically it is a shock. Rapidly it hits you as a result of you haven’t thought of it a lot and you do not know what to say, since you by no means really know whether or not it will occur.
“I’m not centered on the ‘what if?’ I’m centered on getting ready myself the identical as earlier than to attempt to ship the best way I’ve all season.”
Hamilton has already received the driving force’s title in 2008, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2019Credit score: Reuters
Hamilton’s has been vocal on his dedication to equality and social justice Credit score: Getty Pictures – Getty
Nonetheless it appears as formality, but it surely might have been so much totally different had he not determined to hitch Mercedes in 2013 from McLaren.
Hamilton admits it took some convincing from Ross Brawn and Niki Lauda, who have been each then working at Mercedes, once they first approached him about signing for the group.
He stated: “I had first spoken to Niki. I used to be again residence in Monaco and he is like ‘you have to come to the group’. And I wasn’t satisfied essentially at first.
“I feel the convincing stage, which actually made me look into it extra, was when Ross got here round my mum’s home, and sat within the kitchen and we had tea.
“He confirmed me what the plan was for the group. That was the true, in-depth perception into what the group was planning and the modifications that they have been attempting to do.
“In order that was actually the ‘promoting’ level. With Niki we labored on the structure of the deal.”
As soon as the title is wrapped up, both this weekend on the outskirts of Istanbul or within the subsequent race in Bahrain, Hamilton will change his consideration to signing a brand new deal.
It’s anticipated to be a 3 yr deal price round £40million a yr – however as but, nothing is signed.
He added: “I’m very acutely aware of the thought I need to proceed with Mercedes. I might love to assist them on this quest of pushing for change.
“They’re taking their vehicles inexperienced, electrifying extra, I need to assist them on that street, I need to assist them pushing for variety.
“There’s a lot to debate and so much to undergo however it’s one thing we’ll do if not after the job is finished on the finish of the yr.
“Nothing is ready in stone – it’s nearly speaking about it. I do not really feel I am completed, I do not really feel transferring ahead… there are all the time areas to enhance.
“I really like racing and the problem and I do not suppose that’s going to vary any time quickly.”
Hamilton’s title-winning hopes nevertheless obtained off to a slippery begin in Istanbul yesterday (FRI) throughout apply.
Valtteri Bottas, Hamilton’s teammate, is the one one who can deny the Brit the title this weekendCredit score: Getty – Pool
With no operating since being resurfaced, the observe was thick with mud that means the drivers have been left struggling for grip.
Hamilton sat out a big chunk of first apply as others tiptoed their approach round whereas within the afternoon session, Max Verstappen topped the time sheets.
Charles Leclerc was second quickest whereas Valtteri Bottas was in P3 forward of Hamilton in P4.
Hamilton stated: “It was a little bit of a catastrophe immediately. This observe is such a unbelievable circuit and I do not totally perceive why they spend tens of millions to re-do the floor of a observe.
“They might have cleaned it as a substitute of losing their cash and now the observe is worse than Portimao.
“So for us, the tyres aren’t working and also you see it. It’s like an ice rink on the market, so you do not get the enjoyment of the lap on the market and I do not see that change there.
“It’s terrifying the entire approach round. It’s like having moist patches the entire approach round and I assume the oil is seeping from the Tarmac
“It’s s*** with a capital S.”