Lewis Hamilton says he wants to be remembered for helping to change the “minimal diversity” that currently exists in Formula 1.

The five-time world champion was the first black F1 driver and has previously spoken openly about the racist abuse he suffered throughout his childhood and junior career. 

And now, Hamilton says it is his desire to “help shift the diversity a little bit” in the sport.

“There really is the most minimal diversity within this sport,” Hamilton replied when asked what he would like his legacy to be ahead of this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix.

“I really somehow want to be a part of shape-shifting that with Formula 1, working in co-operation with Formula 1 and the FIA. 

“I don’t know why there’s not enough university students, engineers, mechanics and even within the media, coming through from more diverse backgrounds. 

“I don’t know that’s always been the way it is today but I see a real opportunity there to be a part of shape-shifting that.  

“So, ultimately, in 20 years time, I want to look back [and] if I ever hear someone whispering, they would say that I was a part of shifting that.”

Hamilton said there are “many elements” that need addressing and is also keen to help less-privileged children get into the high-cost environment of motorsport.

“There are so many elements that are to be worked on,” he explained. 

“I want to somehow help pave the way for some younger drivers to come through from a similar background to myself for example. 

“That means getting involved in go-karting from the early phases of motor racing. 

“It’s so expensive now, to race go-karts. I think when I started, I think my Dad told me we spent £20,000 in the first year, which was a huge amount of money from where we came from on a council estate in the UK. 

"But today, to do a professional season of karting, it’s in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, like two or three hundred thousand dollars or something to be professional. 

“Now that’s a lot of money to spend in a year. I want to be a part of somehow shifting that.”