Hamilton reveals: "I redesigned McLaren steering wheel - other teams copied!"

Lewis Hamilton has explained how he helped the redesign of F1 steering wheels for McLaren and Mercedes.
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1

The Mercedes driver will enter the F1 United States Grand Prix sixth in the F1 standings and chasing his first win of a disappointing year, having previously won in each of his career seasons.

But he has revealed a side to himself where he has aided the development of F1 cars.

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“What a lot of people don’t actually know is that I re-designed the steering wheel when I was at McLaren,” he said to Channel News Asia. 

“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.”

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 18, Japanese Grand Prix, Suzuka, Japan, Preparation
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 18,…

Hamilton, now 37, has watched his rival Max Verstappen claim the past two F1 championships.

The Mercedes driver is contracted for 2023 and has mentioned extending his stay as he chases an all-time record eighth title.

“I'm going through this journey right now trying to discover what it is that I want to do after this,” he said. 

“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. 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.”

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 on the drivers parade. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 17, Singapore Grand Prix,
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 on the drivers parade. Formula 1…

He added: “I always go against the grain. I don't do what everyone expects me to do.

“I don't like to conform to how a racing driver is supposed to behave. They say that a race driver has to be in bed at 10pm, a racing driver doesn't have tattoos, a racing driver doesn't have this and that.

“I'm always trying to learn new things. I love music so in the little [personal] time that I do get, I'm trying to learn the piano, which is very difficult as you get older.

“Otherwise, I’m looking at other business opportunities, and I’m very much involved in trying to build up businesses and trying to find things that I'm passionate about because I can't race forever. 

“I'm the second oldest driver here, and I can go a little longer if I want [but] there's going to be an afterlife.”

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