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Hamilton Balances F1 and Lifestyle with Grace

Hamilton Balances F1 and Lifestyle with Grace

28/04/2024

Lewis Hamilton challenges traditional norms by integrating fashion and F1, reshaping perceptions about the capacities of a racing driver.

Lewis Hamilton explained how Niki Lauda initially disapproved of his non-driving activities, such as his ventures into the fashion world, but changed his mind after the 2018 Singapore Grand Prix.

Hamilton had attended a party to celebrate the launch of his first collection in New York just before this race, yet the fast lap that followed in qualifying is still considered to this day as one of the best of his career—proving to the Austrian triple world champion that Hamilton could balance racing and external interests, despite the severe jet lag in this particular instance.

After his trip to New York, Hamilton’s lap to secure pole position amazed not only those present, but also the Mercedes garage.

“It’s not really good preparation for a race weekend,” Hamilton admits today about his trip to New York.

“One must be very careful about this. The narrative about me was as follows: ‘Oh, he’s not focused.’ But I wasn’t out partying late or drinking like that.”

“I arrived in Singapore and pulled off one of the best laps I’ve ever done. And after that, everyone was like, ‘Oh, he can do that.’ Even Niki was telling Toto, ‘You can’t let Lewis do this! This isn’t what a racing driver does!’ I proved them wrong.”

When jokingly told that drivers from Lauda’s era were more likely to drink and smoke before driving on a race weekend, Hamilton replied, “Yes, exactly. But ultimately, I made him understand that I can do these things too. Well, less extreme because I don’t smoke and I don’t drink.”

Hamilton was one of the first drivers of the modern era to attempt to balance the rigors of Formula 1 with his other interests outside the sport, particularly after his move to Mercedes F1.

“As I explored my creativity and how to express myself, I faced a lot of criticism from the media. People simply judged me: ‘That’s not how a racing driver behaves.’ ‘That’s not what a racing driver does.’ That I wasn’t focused on my F1 driving career.”

“I sympathize with some drivers just before our generation, in the early 2000s. They clearly had more to say or do, but they were not able to show it. There were no platforms like social media to express themselves and demonstrate what they could do. They were only exposed through media on television or in newspapers.”

“If you look at our current world, with all our means of expression, you will see that some drivers express themselves much more and very differently. I’m no longer the only one, I think I’ve paved the way.”

Hamilton Balances F1 and Lifestyle with Grace

Hamilton Balances F1 and Lifestyle with Grace. Hamilton Balances F1 and Lifestyle with Grace

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