Mexican Grand Prix – Lewis Hamilton says he has ‘no interest’ in a switch to Formula E, as he outlined changes he’s made in his life to become more eco-friendly.
Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton says he has no interest in switching over to Formula E, despite Merc now having a full works team in the series.
Speaking at the Mexican Grand Prix, Hamilton was asked about whether he’d have any interest in making that change. This was after reigning Formula E Champion Jean-Eric Vergne extended an invitation to him to try out his championship winning Techeetah car, while Merc motorsport boss Toto Wolff has also welcomed the prospect of Hamilton trying out their Formula E car; Merc having entered Formula E full-time for the upcoming season.
“I have no interest whatsoever to do Formula E, so that’s not something I currently plan to do beyond.” Hamilton firmly said on the issue. Having been criticised on social media for speaking out about his thoughts on the enviroment and his own veganism, he said: “Lots of people have had opinions about how I utilise my social media, but ultimately it’s my platform and we all have a voice, everyone here and around the world, and it’s how you choose to… how you want to use it. Personally, it’s not the easiest, because yes, we are travelling around the world, we are racing Formula 1 cars and our carbon footprint for sure is higher than the average homeowner who lives in the same city, but that doesn’t mean that you should be afraid to speak out about things that can be a positive change and I’m always looking at things, and how I can improve the effect that I’m having on the world.”
“I guess it’s something that over time I have become more and more aware of and it takes a while. It’s not a quick-fix thing. It takes time to understand the implications and I think it’s just about education and I’m just trying to highlight areas. Whether people choose to look into those, that’s up to them, but I’d feel like I wasn’t doing anything positive if I didn’t mention it.”
Asked about what changes he has made in his own life, Hamilton responded with a long list of all the ways he’s making an effort to reduce his own carbon footprint: “In terms of the things that I’m doing in my life, I’m trying to make sure that by the end of the year I’m carbon neutral at the end of the year. I don’t allow anyone in my office but also within my household to buy any plastics. I want everything recyclable down to deodorant, down to toothbrush, all these kind of things so I’m trying to make as much change as I can in my personal space. I told you I sold my plane over a year ago. I fly a lot less now, I’m trying to fly less through the year and mostly flying commercial so that’s been a big change in my habits. I’ve avoided trips as well, if I didn’t need to do it, been in the UK, for example, with family and going up to Bedfordshire and kind of stayed at Soho House for example, with the family instead of going on holiday.”
“What else?” continued Hamilton. “Obviously I’ve changed my diet which is quite a drastic difference. I’m also pushing for… so for example I have a new smart electric hybrid at home – it’s not hybrid, it’s electric. I’ve sold several of my cars, some of them I don’t really want to sell because I still love them and I’ve worked hard for them and I don’t drive them a lot if I’m honest. And also, all the cars that I have, so Mercedes, I’m very fortunate that I get quite a few cars around the world, so I have three Mercedes in the States for example. Send them back and get new QCs. I have a Maybach in London for example. I think they’re bring the hybrid out at the end of next year for the Maybachs. However, right now that doesn’t really suit what I’m fighting for so I need to change that also for either an EQC or one of the hybrids they have. I’m constantly making changes.”
“It’s not a quick fix.” Hamilton explained. “It’s not something you do over a short period of time, but I feel (Indistinct) that I’m making those changes and I’m encouraging people around me to also… my friends are seeing me doing those and also being more conscious and also looking to do those kind of things. I work with the team who are also really pushing to be carbon neutral, also changing things in their canteen because there’s a lot of plastics which you will see here, for example, we have mostly just water which are biodegradable bottles. I’m working with Mercedes on the future plan with them, for example. Car manufacturers have all leather interiors. There’s no reason why we cannot have for the leather for the suede so I’m pushing to be a part of that change with Mercedes Benz.
“Obviously I work with Tommy Hilfiger, nearly 70 per cent of all the clothes that I’ve done are sustainable and either recycled fabrics of leather, faux suede and the goal is to have that 100 percent and I’m looking at some point that to be 100 per cent sustainable, hopefully in the next year or two. That’s also encouraged Tommy Hilfiger, who work in quite a damaging business or industry to also look into that and push that direction. I don’t know much more I can do at the moment. I still love racing and I want to continue with that. If you look at our sport, it’s shifted from… we use a third less fuel now, there is more I think that Formula One can do and I think they are putting plans together but I think we have to push all the industries, you have to push Formula One to do more and I think that they’re giving us a proposal later on, I think today, of the plans that they have in place and we’ll do whatever we can to support that.”