Lewis Hamilton feels he owes Formula 1 nothing as he has 'promoted the sport more than any other driver ever has'.
The defending F1 world champion is seen as the biggest promoter and face in the sport globally by his team Mercedes and F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone and for that reason Hamilton believes he doesn't owe F1 anything – claiming he does more for the sport than all the other drivers on the grid combined as well as more than icons like Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher.
"I actually probably promote the sport more than any other driver ever has,” Hamilton said in an interview with CNN. “I'm at more events talking about Formula One more than any driver ever has, probably all the other drivers put together and more.
"I don't feel like I have any more of a responsibility. I've got some incredible fans and I give as much time as I can to motivate them and energize those who do follow me. So I don't know what else I have to give."
Reflecting on the ongoing tensions between the Grand Prix Drivers Association, F1 teams and rule-makers, Hamilton also feels he shouldn't have a bigger role in the decision-making process in the sport and that power lies with Ecclestone and company.
"Ultimately sport, business, it's money and power,” he said. “We [the drivers] will say stuff but ultimately it's those people who are sitting in their chair, striking a pen, paying checks, making money, that will be the ones that [have the final say].
"I'm not saying it's wrong. It's just like a corporate business - money is the power, money is the ruler. The people who own the sport make the decisions.”
Hamilton also reiterated his recent comments about keeping his composure despite seeing a 36-point gap expand between him and F1 championship leader Rosberg – who is on a six-race winning streak counting back to the end of 2015 – but Hamilton is confident there are plenty of opportunities and races to reel in his German team-mate.
"As long as I know I've given absolutely everything that's in my physical power and mental ability, as long as I've given everything, I can never be upset,” he said “Hopefully I've still showed that fighting spirit that I've always had since I was a kid. So another 18 races to go. Still got a great car. Still got a great team. It's important that none of us change anything."