Lewis Hamilton tells Expo Dubai crowd he is changing his name to honour his mother

British driver says he has come to fight for his eighth title

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Mercedes Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton told cheering fans in Dubai that he was ready to fight for his eighth championship title this season.

On Monday, Hamilton visited Expo 2020 Dubai for a short talk at Al Wasl Plaza, where thousands of excited fans turned up to see their sporting hero.

He shared his thoughts on the racing season ahead, which begins in Bahrain next weekend, his car and what motivates him to continue to race at the highest level.

“My off season has been a bit different. Abu Dhabi was a difficult period of time. I needed to re-centre and focus,” he said.

My off season has been a bit different. Abu Dhabi was a difficult period of time. I needed to re-centre and focus
Lewis Hamilton, Formula One champion

“My whole life has been about winning. I’ve had this mentality of always wanting better but now I’ve realised winning is not everything and losing can help you grow.

“Don’t be afraid of failure.”

When asked what winning his eight title would mean, Hamilton, 37, paused before answering.

“Everything,” he said.

“I’ve come back to fight for the eighth.

“It’s impossible to know what the future holds but doing something no one else has done before [in the sport] would be mind-blowing.”

Test days in Bahrain - in pictures

Hamilton, who plans to produce a documentary about himself, told cheering fans to always believe in themselves, but said it was important to strike a “good balance between work and life”.

He lost the championship to Max Verstappen in the final lap of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on December 12, but in February denied he had said he would quit Formula One.

Speaking about his 16 years as a Formula One driver, Hamilton said while his first championship win was memorable, he was too busy to enjoy it.

“I’d say my last win was my favourite as there were so many people on the journey with me,” he said.

“To win again would mean the world to family.

“I’m also about to put my mum’s name in my name. I want my mum’s name to continue with the Hamilton name, so soon we will see that.”

Now training in Bahrain for the F1 race on Sunday, Hamilton said it has been difficult and he is still learning about his new car.

“It’s crazy because years ago we had so many test days but now we only get two or three days,” he said.

“I’m still learning about the car and probably will be for first three or four races.

“The test days were tough but the great thing is talking with the engineers about pushing the car forward. Everyone is hyped, excited and we love the challenge.”

Referring to his fans at the world's fair, Hamilton also said he hoped the future of Formula One would look similar to the multinational crowd at Expo as he strives to bring more diversity to the sport.

Updated: March 15, 2022, 3:59 AM