DESPITE NOT BEING one of the most followed sports out there, Formula 1 is undoubtedly one of the most luxurious and expensive organisations in the world. The money involved has drastically increased as the years have gone by. In the 1960’s, a championship winning team’s budget would be an estimated €100,000, whereas now, reports state that a winning team’s budget largely surpasses the €400,000,000 mark.
The life of luxury is not expressed by many of the racers out there, with some drivers choosing to keep their lives private. However, five-time champion Lewis Hamilton has expanded his name outside of Formula 1 over the last number of years and has become much more than just a successful Formula 1 driver.
Hamilton made a name for himself as soon as he entered the F1 arena in 2007. Driving for McLaren, he lost out on the driver’s title by one point in his rookie year, before going on to clinch it in dramatic circumstances twelve months later.
A dry spell soon followed, which caused the Briton to leave McLaren, a programme he was a part of since 1998, when he was just 13 years of age. Moving to Mercedes in 2013, this was pivotal in the redesign of Hamilton’s personality and expression, as the long time boss of McLaren, Ron Dennis, kept his mind focused on F1.
Driver salaries are never exactly known in Formula 1 but according to Forbes, Hamilton will earn an estimated €45,000,000 in 2018. However, since joining Mercedes, he has picked up a further five world titles and recently signed a new deal which is bound to involve a pay rise.
The money he has earned has allowed him to travel the world in his own €22,000,000 private jet. Often seen joining celebrities at major occasions, he has attended events alongside Pharrell Williams and Winnie Harlow, with American basketball stars, and has a known strong friendship with Brazilian footballer Neymar.
There were worries that his lucrative lifestyle could impact his racing form. But it has seemingly done the opposite, as Hamilton has established himself as a Formula 1 legend, winning four additional titles and taking 50% of the race victories since the 2014 season.
The music industry has always been something of interest to the Stevenage-born racer. He has spoken about it a number of times throughout the course of his career and has shown snippets of himself playing piano on social media. He revealed in 2016 that he sought advice from renowned pop star Kanye West, and confirmed that he has worked in the studio with West in the past.
Hamilton has not officially released any music or announced that he has featured in a song, however in a recent single called ‘Pipe’ by Christina Aguilera, it is believed that he is featured in a verse, rapping under the name XNDA.
The 33-year-old has admitted that he has contemplated retirement to have more time on exploring other opportunities. He has achieved so much already, both inside and outside of the sport. Earlier this year, he became a brand ambassador for Tommy Hilfiger and has his own range within the leading fashion company. Hamilton’s attire has frequently been commented on, as he chooses to wear colourful clothes that stand out, usually from his own range.
Hamilton does not have a wife or family, but was in a long-term relationship with singer Nicole Scherzinger that ended in 2015. The fact he has no immediate family member to spend time with when he’s not racing makes it easier for him to branch out of F1 and look at fresh ideas.
When Hamilton eventually does retire, there is no doubt that he will be much more than a former racing driver. He is establishing himself as a global icon who promotes his name outside of racing by involving himself in several industries, and is undoubtedly doing so successfully.