Lewis Hamilton is not only the measure of all things on the racetrack. The British racing driver is also a fashion icon, and he has even made an appearance as a singer. Recently, however, the 31-year-old has taken on another mission: Using his influence to draw attention to underrepresentation, he campaigns for more diversity and inclusion in his sport. Now, Hamilton also stars in IWC’s new global advertising campaign, which focuses on his evolution from a “driver of the fastest cars” to a “driver of change”. Misan Harriman shot the imagery. Born in Nigeria and raised in the UK, the renowned photographer recently made history by becoming the first black person in the 104-years of British Vogue to shoot the cover of the magazine’s September issue.
After the shooting, Hamilton and Harriman sat down for an intimate conversation, touching on many of the issues that matter to them. The British racing driver reveals that chasing records now matters less to him than writing the future of his sport, paving the way towards greater diversity and inclusion. “I was always chasing that win for personal desire, for my family who believed in me from day one. Now it’s amazing that I can use that platform to bring attention to things and empower people”, explains Hamilton. The two also elaborate on the efforts put in place by both the Hamilton Foundation and the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport Formula One™ Team to encourage youngsters from diverse backgrounds to pursue an education as engineers to get into motorsport eventually.
During the conversation, Hamilton also talks about his passion for music. “I am not great at the guitar, but I love playing. You don’t have to be the best at everything. But the great thing about music is learning something new, finding new pathways in your mind to release feelings”. Looking back to their childhood days, Hamilton and Harriman reveal they both had dyslexia, a learning difficulty that can cause problems with reading or writing. The two cover many more topics, including Hamilton’s evolution to a style icon or his journey to go vegan. The encounter ends with an uplifting quote from Hamilton: “I dream of a day when it is equal for everyone. That you have equal opportunities, no matter where you come from, where you start from – not being disadvantaged already from the day you are born”.