Brit driver believes he can surpass his hero Ayrton Senna this year with a fourth title, but must first win in Picasso’s home country of Spain
LEWIS HAMILTON wants to become the Pablo Picasso of Formula One.
Britain’s three-time world champion, 32, dreams of leaving a motor racing legacy as the greatest of all time.
Like Muhammad Ali in boxing; like Picasso in painting.
Both demonstrated their artistry on the canvas, Hamilton longs to do it in the cockpit.
A fourth world F1 crown this year would elevate him above his hero and triple world champ Ayrton Senna.
The flamboyant Mercedes star, who races on pole in the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona today, said: “I want to race for all the time needed to become the greatest of all time.
“Like Muhammad Ali. If it will be five years, then they will be five years in which I’ll improve non-stop.
“On my ideal imaginary podium, it would be Juan Manuel Fangio and Senna. Then it will be me.
“But I want to achieve it on my own. You teach yourself. I don’t believe Picasso went to other painters asking for advice, right?
“He followed his own path. F1 isn’t like karate where you need a coach. In a racing car, the only rule is yourself.”
Hamilton missed out on the championship last season when his ex-Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg clinched his maiden title before making a shock decision to retire.
Hamilton can understand Rosberg’s reasons for quitting, but claims it is not in his nature to do the same.
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He said: “If your goal is to become the best, the pressure is almost unmanageable.
“The competition is so fierce. In your mind and heart it’s as if an atomic bomb of energy is released, to be absorbed in a world where only No 1 exists. If you are second, you’ve lost.
“I never give up, that should be clear. At some point in life it will be a case of evolving, and going further.”
In an interview with Raffaele Panizza for GQ Italy, Hamilton talks about the importance of religion to him. He has religious tattoos and prays often.
He said: “I’m Catholic, a man of faith and I pray when I wake up, go to bed and before every meal.
“I have a close relationship with God. I ask for help for my friends in need. I ask for support when I get too stressed out.
“Words from God give me direction. The compass tattooed on my chest symbolised that; the church is my north and my south, faith guides me.
“I know I am lucky. I’ve seen kids in hospitals that won’t see their sixth birthday.
“Too many people consider life as something that is granted, that arrives free of charge and is unlimited.
“I never do this. What will I want when my last moment? I’ll ask for one more minute.
“My last day could be tomorrow. I want to be sure I’ve lived to the maximum.”