‘I should have copyrighted it’: Lewis Hamilton reveals F1 innovation he designed

Lewis Hamilton raced for McLaren from 2007-2012 before moving to Mercedes in 2013, where he has remained since.

There is no doubt that Lewis Hamilton is arguably one of, if not the greatest, Formula 1 driver of all-time, with his statistics being the perfect evidence of that.

Hamilton has claimed more pole positions and victories than any other driver, for which he has claimed 103 in both categories.

Michael Schumacher is second on both lists, having claimed 91 victories and 68 pole positions.

The Mercedes driver has been a frontrunner for virtually the entirety of his F1 career, with 2022 really being the first exception.

READ: Nyck de Vries could soon join Max Verstappen at Red Bull

He has managed to claim a win in every F1 season he’s competed in; however, as it stands this record is set to end this season.

Hamilton has four races to claim a much-needed victory, even though, he doesn’t particularly care about claiming records.

It has been revealed, though, that the 37-year-old is just as strong off the circuit as he is on it, with the seven-time World Champion being a highly regarded steering wheel designer.

In a recent meet and greet, the Brit revealed that he “re-designed” the steering wheel at both McLaren and Mercedes, something which other teams have incorporated into their own designs.

Article continues below

His design touch doesn’t end here, though, as he’s designed his own seat and pedals, due to his love of “ergonomics”.

“What a lot of people don’t actually know is that I re-designed the steering wheel when I was at McLaren,” he revealed to CNA Luxury during a meet and greet hosted by TeamViewer.

“And when I came to Mercedes, I did the same thing, and the other teams have all copied the wheel.

“All the old wheels used to be circular. Now, you’ll see there’s a top and the handle comes down and it doesn’t join at the bottom.

“I should have copyrighted it. This is something I’m really proud of; I really love working on the ergonomics of the car.

“I also designed the seat for my cockpit; I filed it down and it’s been pretty much the same seat for [almost] 10 years with the team. We also redesigned the pedals with the engineers.

“Those are the things I love to do, as it allows me to tap into a bit of creativity.”

Hamilton has spoken about remaining with Mercedes for the rest of his life, even when he’s long retired, with a job as a designer potentially a perfect fit for the Brit.

Given how bad Mercedes have ultimately been this season, the question has been asked whether Hamilton will decide that his time is up should the poor performances continue next season, something he’s “spoken” to other athletes about.

It looks unlikely that he’s going to leave anytime soon, though, as he’s recently explained that he can continue for another five years.

“I’ve spoken to a lot of amazing athletes over time that have been in competition towards the end of their careers, and also ones who are retired,” added Hamilton.

READ: Pierre Gasly hails Alpine for ‘very hard’ negotiations with Red Bull

“Many said that they stopped too early or too late.

“Most said you will know when the time is right [to retire]. But because we’re so single-minded [as race car drivers] and so focused on being the best we can be, we usually lack the time to do other things.

“So when an athlete does retire, it’s like the whole world comes to a stop. So I’m trying to put these things in place so that it’s a very easy transition for me afterwards.”