Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton hopes he will be remembered as a “gamechanger” in Formula 1.

The Mercedes driver heads into 2021 aiming to clinch an unprecedented eighth world title this year, a feat that would see him move clear of the record for most world championships that he jointly shares with Michael Schumacher.

Hamilton’s future beyond the end of the season remains uncertain after the 36-year-old signed a fresh one-year extension to remain in F1 for the upcoming campaign, though he has stressed that winning an eighth world title will not be the deciding factor behind any decision he makes.

Ahead of this weekend’s season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, Hamilton spoke about his F1 legacy during an interview with Sky Sports F1.

Asked how he wants to be remembered in F1, Hamilton replied: “Maybe Gamechanger. Or voice for equality, something like that.”

Over the past year, Hamilton has been at the forefront of F1’s push to improve diversity, as well as being a strong supporter of the Black Lives Matter anti-racism movement.

"I would argue that last year was the bravest [decision I've made in F1],” he explained. 

“For one of the very few people of colour within our sport, to be able to voice out your feelings and be open about experiences you’ve had, not be sure of the criticism or the backlash that might come from that if it’s interpreted in the wrong way.

“Now we live in a space where we can be more open about it and no one has a right to tell us to shut up anymore - I think that’s super empowering.”

F1 announced an updated We Race As One campaign ahead of the new season, which features a renewed push to improve diversity and minority representation across motorsport.

New F1 CEO and president Stefano Domenicali held a meeting with the drivers at pre-season testing in Bahrain to discuss the sport’s plans for 2021.

“It was a really good meeting,” Hamilton revealed. “Stefano has taken the time to sit with us all and be open in terms of having this discussion of how we can work together to improve the sport.

“We didn't really necessarily have much of a discussion about [the pre-race messaging]. They explained to us their plans and we can go back to them.

“It wasn’t that everything had to be done there on the spot, they are making some adjustments, which I think are positive. Last year we had the slogans, ‘We Race As One’, but action is needed this year, so that was something that was expressed to us.

“That's what we’ve really got to make sure we continue to have that conversation, continue to make sure that action is taken this year as we continue to push for diversity inclusion within this sport, and I think we're all aligned with that goal of achieving that together.”