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Lewis Hamilton on Russia, Red Bull, and Lagerfeld

08 Oct 2015

With a third title looking increasingly likely in 2015, it’s perhaps not surprising that the Formula One media are evermore keen to talk to Lewis Hamilton about his off-track, as well as his on-track, activities. Ahead of this weekend’s 2015 Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix, the Mercedes star faced a broad range of questioning from the F1 press corps…

Q: You have spent the time between the races in Japan and Russia at the Paris fashion week and you have met some of the designers: tell us how important fashion is in your life.

Lewis Hamilton: I don’t know about the importance in my life, I just enjoy it. It is different, so much different to racing. I enjoy meeting different designers and figuring out how they come up with so many different things and ideas. I love creativity in general, not only in fashion.

What I love about Formula One is the creativity with my engineers and designers. I am very passionate about this. I was always interested in fashion, and now I have more freedom to get involved into it. The similarity towards Formula One is, for example, the interest of the media and fans in the designers.

When I met with Karl Lagerfeld after his show, there was not really time for a conversation as so many people bombarded him with questions. There was only time for a handshake and a picture. For sure this picture will go on my wall, as he is a legend. But he also knew my name, which is nice.

Q: Mercedes could wrap up the constructors’ championship here in Russia this weekend. How do you feel about that?

LH: This is an amazing outlook. But really, this year has gone by so quickly. In a short while it is going to be Christmas and then we are going to roll out the new car. Already last year we said that this could be the best year that we will ever have and going into this season we said it would be impossible to surpass it, but we have - in many ways.

Sometimes people take it for granted how much of an amazing job a team can do, and how on the point every individual in this team works. It is hard work to not drop the ball after you have been successful the year before. Every single team member wants to do the job to the best of their ability and push the boundaries to be even better than where we are now, fighting for the championship already this weekend.

They go home to their kids and family and tell them that we have built the best car and we are the best team! I feel very privileged to be part of it. I did not know when I signed up for this that it [success] would happen that fast, but for sure I knew that it would happen at some stage. I was here for the long run, and of course I am very grateful that it came earlier than expected.

Q: What do you think about Russia itself and its history?

LH: Unfortunately I do not know too much about Russia’s history, as for some reason it was not part of what I was taught in school. Also I have not spent a huge amount of time in Russia, although I was in Moscow yesterday - and it was really freezing. Before I came here my understanding was that you have to bring a woollen hat and a thick jacket.

But then you come to Sochi and here you have the seaside and such a pleasant climate for a vacation place.Of course I have seen many things about Russia in movies and read many things in the papers. In many James Bond movies it was a major part of the story. What is always very impressive is the size of this country - if you look at a world map it reaches over such a vast territory.

What I loved about Moscow was its architecture. For me there are not a lot of places that have such impressive architecture, especially when you compare the futuristic style of Moscow City and then the classical structures of the older parts, such as the monumental building of the Kremlin. For sure I want to come back at some point of time to do proper sightseeing in Moscow.

Q: Do you someday dream of matching your rival Sebastian Vettel in winning four championship titles?

LH: No, I don’t have that dream, as I haven’t even won the third title yet. I take one step at a time, and not think what is going to happen next year.

Q: There has been a lot of talk about Red Bull and whether they could pull out of the sport. What are your thoughts?

LH: For sure it would be a big shame for the fans. It seems very odd to me - having witnessed Red Bull Racing’s success in Formula One - that you would give up so quickly after having not succeeded in two years. Growing up watching Formula One, I don’t remember any other team doing anything like that - or at least I haven’t noticed it.

From my point of view they don’t have a proper reason to give up, as they have great drivers, a great pedigree and still a pretty awesome car - as well as a great success story behind them in Formula One.