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Hamilton hopes legacy not only defined by F1 success

Hamilton hopes legacy not only defined by F1 success

F1 News

Hamilton hopes legacy not only defined by F1 success

Hamilton hopes legacy not only defined by F1 success

Lewis Hamilton has revealed he has "never wanted to be defined just as a driver" and is hoping he will be remembered for inducing "serious change" when he retires.

The seven-time world champion returns to the F1 grid for his 16th season in the sport this year after facing speculation over his future in the winter given the controversial events in Abu Dhabi that prevented him from clinching a record-breaking eighth title.

During his time in the sport, Hamilton has increasingly gained a platform to speak out against social injustice and has spearheaded removing the stigma of racial and gender equality in F1.

Through initiatives such as Mission 44 and Ignite, Hamilton and Mercedes aim to provide a more inclusive environment within the sport, something which the British driver hopes will be widespread throughout all teams.

Asked what he wanted his legacy from F1 to be, Hamilton replied: "This is something year-on-year I get asked, the question about legacy.

"In the earlier years, it was difficult to pinpoint or even understand what legacy really meant.

"Of course, I read the books of Nelson Mandela and look at the legacy he left and how he used his time here on this Earth.

"For me, I have been given this incredible opportunity to do what I do and be great at something but I have never wanted to be defined just as a driver."

Insisting there are "so many more elements" as to who he is, Hamilton added: "Ultimately [Iam] someone that cares and tries to use the platform to really shift ideals, to shift perceptions and put pressure on systems to go in the right direction and be more inclusive."

The seven-time champion was particularly impressed by recent events at Mercedes' launch when he, team-mate George Russell and team principal Toto Wolff were joined by members of the team's driver academy.

"It was probably the most diverse group of people you will probably ever see at a launch," assessed Hamilton.

"When you are at shoots, you are seeing that now, when you are at the factory and all the amazing work we are doing with Ignite and Mission 44, it is something I am really proud to be a part of.

"But it is all great and well having those set up, but they really need to create change and actions.

"It is something we are really working on, making sure we see that long term so that is what I hope to be remembered for, actually seeing some serious change and seeing our sport and the education system work better for those lower-income families and minorities coming through."

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