Lewis Hamilton is beginning to plan for life after his Formula 1 career comes to an end, taking inspiration from Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan and David Beckham.
Hamilton looks poised to clinch his third F1 drivers’ championship in 2015 after opening up a 53-point lead over Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg at last weekend’s Italian Grand Prix.
The Briton also maintains a life outside of racing, enjoying a celebrity status that has helped to give F1 more exposure in less conventional media and to new audiences.
In an interview with the official F1 website, Hamilton admitted that at the age of 30, he is beginning to plan for life after racing by laying the foundations for future business ventures.
“I am at a point in my life where I know that I have a certain amount of years left in F1 and I am conscious of what will be beyond that,” Hamilton said.
“I look at people like Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan and David Beckham – sports stars who have continued to rise beyond their active careers and created businesses and futures for themselves beyond sport.
“Now I am in a phase where I am trying to build foundations to be able to do the same.”
In a wide-ranging interview, Hamilton used recording artist Kanye West as an example of someone who inspired him to look beyond his racing career and explore other avenues.
“Who said that you only should do one thing in life? That you are in one box and that is the only box for you?” Hamilton said.
“People tend to put people in that position – you are a Formula One driver only and that there is nothing else left and right.
“Like with Kanye West: you are a rapper and nothing else. But then people camp in front of the shop that sells his trainers! These shoes were gone in seconds.
“I love that concept – and I am inspired by that. It helps me being open to more opportunities – to be in more than one box. I want to be at least in two boxes!”
However, Hamilton remains focused on the job at hand as he goes in search of a third world championship that would see him emulate his hero, Ayrton Senna.
“In terms of winning this championship, I don’t know what effect it would have on my future life,” Hamilton said.
“What I do know is that it’s been my desire since I was a kid to emulate Ayrton Senna – to get these three world championships. That was always my target.
“If I get these three titles, that would be fantastic. If I think it over, it actually has to be at least three! That is what I am working on.”
When asked if he would let anyone or anything stand in the way of him and the championship, Hamilton was defiant: “I don’t let anybody stand in my way, ever. The only person who could get in my way is myself, and I won’t allow that.”