Lewis Hamilton says he is able to switch off when he’s not racing in order to pursue his other interests, such as the fashion line he launched in collaboration with Tommy Hilfiger earlier this week.
“I’ve travelled a lot more than I have all year long, in these last two weeks,” the Formula One championship leader said ahead of this weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix.
The TommyXLewis brand had a launch party in New York on Monday, making it a whirlwind couple of weeks for Hamilton after his win at the Italian Grand Prix on September 2.
The reigning Formula One world champion has a 30-point lead over Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, but pundits expect that gap to be narrowed given Mercedes traditionally struggle in the season’s only night race – and Ferrari have been strong there in recent years.
Hamilton won an incident-packed race last year, however, and has won in Singapore three times in total. But says the race is a gruelling test of a driver’s skill and stamina.
“Physically and mentally, it is the toughest race of the whole season,” the four-time champion said.
Lewis Hamilton does not think he has put his championship challenge in jeopardy despite clocking up nearly 25,000 miles in just 10 days after launching his new clothing range.
Since winning in Italy to move 30 points clear of Sebastian Vettel, Hamilton has spent an incredible 53 hours in the air to promote his debut fashion collection with renowned designer Tommy Hilfiger.
First, Hamilton flew from Milan to London, to Shanghai, and then back to London, before travelling to New York where he enjoyed the support of American rap stars, Nicki Minaj, and Travis Scott, and Canadian model Winnie Harlow, as he unveiled his new line.
He then left America on Tuesday to embark on a mammoth 21-hour flight to Singapore for this weekend’s race under the floodlights.
Hamilton’s extra-curricular activities have had little impact on his ability in a Formula One car in recent seasons, winning three of the last four world championships.
And although the 33-year-old admitted that his accelerated globe-trotting has taken its toll, he dismissed the notion that it was a gamble to travel the world during the business end of his title fight.
“Not at all,” he said. “I have got other things that I am doing, and trying to fit in training over the last week has not been easy. I have travelled more in the last two weeks than I have all-year long.
“But from my experience, I have been able to move around even more than I have in the last fortnight, and still switch it on into race mode. There is not a single moment when I am not thinking about and the championship.
“I get a lot of energy from doing these different things. I find it stimulating, and you can see my results have shown that in the past.”
Hamilton switches from the catwalk to the race track with a healthy title buffer after embarrassing Vettel by sealing a thrilling win on Ferrari’s home turf in Monza.
At this stage last season, Hamilton was three points ahead of Vettel, and still clinched the championship with two rounds in his pocket.
Indeed, Hamilton can afford to finish second to Vettel at the next four rounds and remain at the top of the pile. The Briton, however, insists he will not adapt his approach as the season reaches its climax.
“At the moment there is no reason to change,” he added. “There are a lot of points still available, so the approach is the same here as it has been all year. It seems to be working.
“We do expect that there will be some difficult races to come. Ferrari have been ahead of us for the past few races, so keeping up with them, and indeed passing them, is going to be tough.”
Vettel had the superior machinery at Monza but finished only fourth after a clumsy opening-lap collision with Hamilton.
It was his fifth mistake of the campaign, but with 175 points still remaining, the German believes all is not lost.
“The biggest enemy is me,” Vettel, 31, said. “Lewis is the leader at the moment, he’s the one ahead and he is the one to beat, but we still have a very good chance.
“We will be our first enemy, and not Lewis as a person, or Mercedes as a team. We need to look after ourselves, and if we do that we have a good chance to do well and win races.”