Fashion's an outlet from intense F1 season, says Lewis Hamilton


'I can't let the F1 fight take over my life', says Lewis Hamilton, as he describes his interest in fashion as an outlet from the intense championship battle

Lewis Hamilton arrives in Istanbul in a kilt

Hamilton typically makes a fashion statement on race weekend Thursdays

Xavi Bonilla / DPPI

Lewis Hamilton has said that his fashion interest is helping take the weight off the intense championship battle with Max Verstappen that sees the pair separated by just two points, with seven races to go.

The Mercedes driver said that he couldn’t let the “neck and neck” fight take over his life and described fashion as an outlet that allowed him to stop thinking about F1 and arrive at race weekends feeling fresh.

Verstappen batted away suggestions that he was feeling the pressure in the title battle at the last race in Russia. Ahead of this weekend’s Turkish Grand Prix, Hamilton spoke about how he was able to “blow off steam” between races.

He attended Paris Fashion Week following his 100th grand prix win in Sochi and last month bought a table at the Met Gala, hosting young Black designers.

“I love the fashion scene,” Hamilton said in a pre-race press conference at Istanbul Park. “When you’re in a fashion week, for example, you’re surrounded by people from all different walks of life, expressing themselves in different ways and I love that environment where I’m able to be able to express myself. I now do that on the race track.

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“I love being able to separate from the sport. The intensity of this whole season is difficult for everyone that’s at the track, and so to be able to have something else — another outlet, something else that you can focus on — helps take the weight off of it. And so when I come back, it always feels fresh when it comes to a grand prix, because it’s not something I’ve been thinking about every single day.”

Hamilton arrived in the paddock this morning wearing a Burberry kilt that he described as “quite daring” but said that he didn’t expect to spark a sartorial transformation among his fellow drivers, claiming that F1 was too corporate for fashion.

Even though Red Bull uses the name of its AlphaTauri fashion label to brand its second team, the defending champion said: “Formula 1’s not focused on [fashion]. It’s obviously very corporate and there is no fashion actually in Formula 1”.


“There will be people who don’t understand it but that’s ok,” Hamilton said of his Burberry kilt

Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Asked about the pressure of his attempt to claim an eighth F1 World Championship, Hamilton acknowledged that it existed but that he had learned to cope. “It’s not a case of being ignored because it’s there,” he said. “But it’s the understanding what will be will be.

“All you can do is prepare the best way you can. All you can do is give it 100%.

“I just don’t worry about what — what if — that’s up ahead. I just try and prepare for now. That means making sure I’ve done the work with the guys back in the factory and then, ultimately, that we enjoy it.

“What an amazing season has been so far: it’s been super exciting for fans massively engaging with Netflix around the world, new people coming in. We finally see two teams, you know, neck and neck, which is amazing, and of course we want to win, but you’ve got to learn to let that not overtake everything in your life.

“I have these other outlets that I’m able to blow off steam in lots of different ways. The most important thing is always to be able to come back into the racing environment, fresh recovered, positive and not really have many worries so I think I’m able to arrive and just love doing my job.

“I’ve been doing this a long time. What worked for me won’t work for everyone. I know how I tick, what gets me on course and what can put me off course. And so, I stick to them.”