Lewis Hamilton has denied accusations his extra-curricular projects are affecting his F1 form as he faces similar questions to the ones currently being faced by Emma Raducanu.
The seven-time world champion is currently enduring his most difficult season since joining Mercedes in 2013, having failed to win a race with the Silver Arrows struggling to adapt to the sport’s new era. And the future of Hamilton, 37, has come under increasing scrutiny amid his clear frustration at not being able to keep pace with Red Bull.
But he remains one of the most marketable sporting stars in the world, and can currently boast a wide range of endorsements and business interests. He has established his own film and television production company, Apollo Dawn Films, and has also claimed he was offered a role in the film Top Gun: Maverick by Tom Cruise.
The icon, who was knighted in December last year, also heads up the Mission 44 project to boost diversity in motorsport, owns a stake in the Denver Broncos NFL franchise, and even toyed with the idea of buying Chelsea FC earlier this year. He also spent the recent F1 break on a ‘life-changing’ trip to Rwanda.
However, he insists F1 remains his primary focus: “It is not that they [other projects] are less important,” Hamilton told GPFans. “My priority is with my job here with the team. When you are racing on a weekend, there is time in between to do the work there and the work with Mission 44 for example.
“I am still able to steer the ship on that. I have a great group of people who are leading and doing what I have asked for and pushing it in the right direction. I know what is being overloaded, I know what is being distracted and I will never let that get to that point so it is just about balancing.”
Hamilton added he rejects numerous offers of other endorsements, including anything that could have a “possible impact on my race weekend.” And his answers echoed that of Raducanu, who has earned multiple sponsorship deals since her sensational 2021 US Open win last September.
The teenager has since failed to replicate the form from her very own ‘Fairytale of New York’, and yet has earned more money in 2022 than world No 1 Iga Swiatek. But she recently insisted that tennis remains her clear priority.
“I made it very, very clear to every single person in my team that I was not going to cancel one training session or practice session for any off-court commitments,” she said. “That was a non-negotiable for me. I wanted to make sure that that is my priority and it is. so that everyone’s clear about that. But it’s just managing my time with the commitments around that.”