What’s Driving Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes F1 Team’s 2021 Launch Is Not What You Think

Sir Lewis Hamilton (although he has yet to tapped on the shoulder with a royal sword) says that winning a record-breaking eighth Formula 1 World Championship is not his priority.

“I still love what I do,” he said on Tuesday as part of Mercedes’ launch of the team’s 2021 F1 car. “I am in the fortunate position that I don’t have to commit to multiple years and I chose to have a one-year deal. It doesn’t mean I am not committed. What I am really focused on is the diversity issue.

“It is not going to change overnight and what is really important is that we are actually delivering and taking action. That’s my driving force this year. On top of that hopefully I can deliver some good performances.

“I don’t want the record to be the deciding factor. I got into racing because I loved racing and that has to be at the core of what I do. Winning an eighth title is the ultimate dream, but I am not going to make it the deciding factor if I stay. When I put the helmet on I still have that smile when I leave the garage.”

Hamilton admitted that he is not very keen on the simulator and has done only about 30 laps with the new car.

“The problem with the sim is that we have a new tire. It can give an idea of what the tires model is, but right now it’s guestimate of what the tire might feel like. The aero package has shifted and we have lost rear downforce and that can play a significant role. The tires are probably about eight-tenths off last year’s tires. That might lead to more thermal degradation and you might see more stops. But that’s all guessing.”

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