Lewis Hamilton has drive—and he’s going full speed head toward his next goal.
As a five-time Formula One World Champion racer, he’s the most successful British driver in the history of the sport. He holds records for most career points, most wins at different circuits and the most grand slams in a season among countless others. And, he’s just getting started.
“I love color. I love bold stuff. I quite like taking risks,” he mused to GQ UK. “There are parallels between fashion and Formula One. We have 1,600 people in my team [Mercedes] to build those two cars and everything is built in-house. It’s very similar to how they do these fashion shows. There’s so much work that goes into it. Months and months for eight or ten minutes of a show.”
He may be readying himself for retirement from racing, but not the spotlight. “These past six or seven years, I’ve really been focusing on understanding the things that I like, the things that I’m good at, the things that I feel passionate about,” he has said. “Fashion was about discovering something else I was into so that when I stop racing I have something else that I’m passionate about to move on to.”
He dabbles in music, too. It’s been a passion “since I was really young,” he told The Telegraph. “I started playing guitar when I was 13. In here, I can be me, I can be vulnerable. I can show a side of me that people don’t get to see.” There are rumors he is featured on Christina Aguilera‘s 2018 hit “Pipe” under the pseudonym “XNDA.”
Even Prince Harry is a fan. “Lewis, thank you very, very much for not making the British pubic sweat,” the royal said while applauding his win at the Formula One World Championship in Abu Dhabi. “You are an absolute legend.”
Legendary, indeed. And now, he’s a fan favorite to win best driver at the 2019 ESPYS. Ahead of the sports world’s big next, keep scrolling for an inside look at Lewis’ glamorous life off the race track.
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Front Row Royalty
Lewis, alongside Victor Cruz and Karrueche Tran, had the best seat in the house at Paris the Off-White Show in early June. “Paris Fashion Week is always a vibe,” he wrote. “So many people from different walks of life, a great place to gain inspiration and ideas for future thinking.”
April Belle Photos
Catch a Wave
He counts Dwyane Wade as a fellow adventure seeker. Well, sometimes. “Thought I’d post this pic of us tearing it up on the jet ski,” he wrote in honor of the NBA star’s retirement. “Me in my zone and you petrified thinking your career was over on the back.” Jokes aside, he’s in awe of his friend. “What a legacy you have, inspired by your greatness and your humble attitude,” he continued. “So proud of you.”
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Name a more iconic trio, we’ll wait. Lewis, in head-to-toe Tommy Hilfiger, stopped for a picture with Shawn Mendes and Jared Leto and the 2019 Met Gala. As he later wrote, “It was an amazing night!”
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At 2015’s Formula One Grand Prix in Monaco, his cheering section included Gigi Hadid, Kendall Jenner, Hailey Baldwin and Bella Hadid. “We love you @Lewishamilton,” Gigi wrote on Instagram. “Everyone knows you da champ. #TEAMLH.”
Love on the Brain?
Not so fast. Throughout summer 2015, Rihanna and the pro athlete sparked romance rumors after living it up together in Barbados and New York. But, in an interview with E! News’ Zuri Hall, he squashed those relationship reports. “You know, I’ve known Ri for a long time,” he said. “We’ve been friends for a while. We get to hang out every now and again but otherwise we’re just been friends.”
Never say never to these BFFs. At the race track, Justin Bieber is often on hand to cheer Lewis on from the sidelines and, of course, celebrate with champagne after a well-deserved victory. The duo also catch soccer games together (with pal Neymar) and hit the seas with their pricey motorized surfboards. “You’ve achieved so much still at such a young age,” Lewis wrote to the singer on his birthday. “Excited to see what’s next for you man and I wish you nothing but blessings and positivity. God bless you bro, enjoy your day.”
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At 2018 New York Fashion Week, Lewis hung out with Nicki Minaj and model Winnie Harlow. Later, he and the rapper seemed to confirm they were dating while speeding through the deserts of Dubai. In a selfie shared by Nicki, which showed her straddling him, she wrote, “Caribbean tingz what I on. Me & Lewis gettin paper like what ink dry on.”
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Yes, He Cannes
At the amfAR Gala in Cannes, Lewis posed with pal and supermodel Adrianna Lima. This year, he offered a custom designed motorcycle to be auctioned off to raise money for AIDS research.
Need for Speed
During David Letterman‘s My New Guest Needs No Introduction series, Lewis gave the legendary host some pointers on driving and racing—and explained his passion to keep moving forward with the sport. “I’ve got this opportunity,” he said. “I could easily let go of it right now, but I feel like I would be squandering it if I didn’t continue to improve, grow and push. So, I’ve got to keep going for as long as I can, basically, till I’m not enjoying it.”
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The 2019 ESPYS, hosted by Tracy Morgan, will air live on ABC Wednesday, July 10 at 8 p.m. ET.