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Q&A: Lewis Hamilton Gives Us the Lowdown on Life Outside of Racing

While promoting Mercedes-AMG’s new hypercar, the Formula 1 racer shares what drives him when he’s not on the track.

Project One by Mercedes-AMG Photo by Jonathan Glynn-Smith

Motorsport legend Lewis Hamilton rarely slows down. So when he recently gave us a few minutes, we made the most of it.

What do you do when you’re not racing?

I’m involved in the fashion world, so I go to a lot of fashion shows. And the music side, as well. Every spare day that I have, I fill it with work. I just like being busy.

Speaking of fashion, why did you choose a velvet houndstooth jacket instead of the more conservative look the photographer suggested for our photoshoot?

I never, ever have anyone tell me what to wear. My image is everything. It’s something I’ve worked on for so long … I don’t wanna have to conform to how people feel I should look.

Tell us more about your love of music.

When I was 14, my dad was in a band, and that inspired me. I played guitar and then started to deejay. I couldn’t be in a band because I was always racing. Then I wanted to studymusic at school, but my dad made me study history.

You spend a lot of time in the States, especially Los Angeles. What attracts you to this place?

The world is fascinated by America because everything is generally bigger and better here. And it’s the central hub of entertainment. Growing up in England watching movies, you just dream of one day going to visit those locations.

There has been a lot of talk lately about women in racing and a debate about whether women should drive in F1. What is your opinion on women’s roles in the sport?

There needs to be more women involved. It’s just dudes everywhere. I mean, across the whole spectrum: engineering, marketing. We don’t have any female racing drivers. I’ve got a great aerodynamicist who is female, and she’s just crazy into cars.

You own a 1966 427 Shelby Cobra and a GT500. What is it that draws you to these muscle cars?

I think it’s the normally aspirated engines. I love the roar. The cars are quite flimsy; the technology is terrible. But when you look at the Cobra, it’s so elegant. They don’t make cars like that today.

What is another classic you’d like to own?

The Ferrari California 250 GT Spyder Short Wheelbase [built from 1960 to 1962].

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