Lewis Hamilton has dedicated his victory at the Canadian Grand Prix to sporting legend Muhammad Ali who passed away last week having been inspired by the former world champion boxer as a child.

The reigning F1 world champion's thoughts were on Ali's feats and successes as he closed in on a fifth career win around Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and was heard over the team radio saying 'float like a butterfly, sting like a bee - that was for Ali' on the cool-down lap.

Hamilton reiterated his dedication in the post-race press conference as he explained how he hoped to emulate Ali's character both inside and outside their respective sporting arenas.

"I never really dedicate wins to anyone but this one is for someone who inspired so much throughout my life, Muhammad Ali, so I'd like to dedicate this to him," Hamilton said. "The last 15 laps all I could think about was him and Rumble in the Jungle.

"It was really, really weird, I was thinking of him and maybe he was watching the race I don't know. He was just such a unique and iconic individual who had a character unlike anyone else and everyone inspired to be like him.

"The things he stood for as well politically, standing for who you are and not letting anyone dictate who you have to be I think as a kid when I saw that I was like 'this is the guy I want to be like'. I hope in terms of an athlete I can be like him.

"Coming from a family of similar kind of background in the sense of ethnicity it was really someone to look up to. Obviously in Formula One there was no-one of the same colour. So it was another athlete to look up to."