Lewis Hamilton ‘much prouder’ of equality action than potential seventh F1 world title

Formula 1
Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton says he is “much prouder” of the work he has done to promote equality this year than the prospect of winning a seventh title.

The Briton will win the championship at Sunday’s Turkish Grand Prix if team-mate Valtteri Bottas does not outscore him by more than seven points.

Hamilton said: “The drivers’ title doesn’t necessarily impact people’s lives. Trying to improve conditions for people around the world – equal human rights – that’s the most important thing to me.”

Hamilton will clinch the championship if he wins or finishes ahead of Bottas. If the Finn wins, Hamilton can still clinch the championship with second place as long as Bottas does not set the fastest lap, which earns a point.

A seventh title would put the Mercedes driver equal with all-time record holder Michael Schumacher, whose record of career victories Hamilton has already surpassed.

“Matching an icon like Michael; I’d be incredibly proud of that,” Hamilton said.

“But it’s more the message it sends to not just kids but mostly kids that you have to dream bigger than you think you can dream and don’t let anyone tell you you can’t go for that.”

However, Hamilton said he had not thought about the prospect of a seventh title, and was “just focused on trying to do a good job, just taking it one race at a time, trying to do the best we can as a team, not thinking about anything else.”

He added: “I have learned not to add pressure that’s unnecessary. I have four races to battle for those points so I don’t put it all onto one weekend, one day.

“For me it is another race, I need to approach it exactly as I have in the past.

“Maybe then that’s why sometimes it’s a shock. All of a sudden it hits you because you have not thought about it much and you don’t know what to say, because you never truly know whether it is going to happen.

“I am not focused on the ‘what if?’ I am focused on preparing myself the same as before to try to deliver the way I have all season.”

Lewis Hamilton

But he did give a strong indication that, while he has not yet discussed a new contract with Mercedes to keep him at the team beyond this season, he would continue to race on next year.

“The numbers and the figures and the titles and all that stuff perhaps appears to mean more from the outside,” Hamilton said.

“I remember watching Michael get seven and thinking: ‘Wow.’ But when you’re in it, it’s different.

“We’re going to continue to fight for more championships, continue to try to improve and continue to race and do what we love doing.

“What’s important is the journey this year has been combined with the fight for equality and a real growing process of learning what’s happening around the world and being more aware of surroundings and starting to see progress with that.”

With regards to a new contract, Hamilton said he “hadn’t got all the answers to what I want to do yet”.

But he added: “I am very conscious of the idea I want to continue with Mercedes. I would love to help them on this quest of pushing for change.

“They are taking their cars green, electrifying more, I want to help them on that road, I want to help them pushing for diversity. There is a lot to discuss and a lot to go through but it is something we will do if not after the job is done at the end of the year.

“Nothing is set in stone – it is just about talking about it. I don’t feel I’m finished, I don’t feel moving forward… there are always areas to improve. I love racing and the challenge and I don’t think that is going to change any time soon.”

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