Lewis Hamilton has come out and said he wants to be regarded as the ‘purest of drivers’, so there can be absolutely no doubt over the accolades he achieves within Formula 1.
After what was a fine victory in Qatar over Max Verstappen, which has closed the F1 title gap even more – the British driver wanted to establish that the nature of how he won was as important as the winning itself.
In quotes taken by Autosport – Hamilton spoke about how winning in a fair manner was especially important to him, despite many other drivers in the past following different philosophies.
“I was bullied as a kid, both at school but also on track, and we wanted to beat them the right way, not by a car falling off or colliding. Then, there is simply no denying that you’re better.
“I want to be the purest of drivers, through speed, through sheer hard work and determination, so there’s no denying at the end what I’ve accomplished.”
Rival Max Verstappen is known for ‘pushing the boundaries’ when it comes to racing, taking a much different approach to Hamilton.
There was the famous collision in the British Grand Prix between the pair and obviously the recent controversy when Verstappen forced Hamilton wide when fighting for the lead in Brazil.
When asked about his approach to other competitors with this boisterous nature, Hamilton said: “You just have to be very, very wary. More wary than ever before.
“Rather than giving someone the benefit of the doubt, you have to know that’s what’s going to happen. You always have to be ready to avoid a collision at all costs, even if it means going wide, because at the end of the day you want to see the end of the race, right?”
Hamilton’s mantra seems to be all based around fairness and it’s really refreshing to see from such an elite-tier sportsman.
“If you’re stubborn and you hold your ground, you’re going to crash. So that’s what I’ve just tried to do. I’ve tried to make sure I avoid the collision.
“I think I’ve been pretty decent at it in most scenarios. You can’t always get it perfect, but then there are other drivers you drive with who are aggressive and respectful in different ways”
Hamilton spoke about age being an important factor, and how this fair mentality has certainly developed in the latter stages of his career.
“Look at myself when I was 24 or 25. Jeez, the mistakes I was making back then.
“I had the speed, but I was going through a lot of different experiences outside the car and also being in the limelight, the pressures of being at the front. I don’t think I did much right then, so I don’t hold that against anybody.”
From this, it’s clear to see Hamilton doesn’t have any animosity towards Verstappen and has put it down to a difference in ideologies and ages.
What we do know is Hamilton is not only a world-class driver, but a world-class person at that. An inspiration to all young F1 fans out there.