Hamilton: Harder for fans to relate to F1 than to other sports

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Five-time F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton says Grand Prix racing's exclusive nature makes it difficult for fans to identify with drivers as easily as they can with other sportsmen.

Fans can only visually experience the thrills of F1 but the unfeasibility of being able to slot into the drivers' seat makes it difficult for the sport's followers to fully comprehend the demands imposed on drivers.

"There are only 20 of us in the world and there's no one in the public domain that can go and drive the car like we are driving the car," Hamilton said.

"Even I go and play basketball and feel like LeBron for a second, or Steph Curry. Sometimes I play tennis, I get it right in the corner, it's a great serve and I feel like Federer for a second.

"You can't get in a Formula 1 car and do a lap like I can do a lap and say 'I felt like how Lewis did it'.

"It's harder to relate to and to see the nuances, the differences and the edge we're on."

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff recently questioned why in the light of his outstanding achievements, Hamilton doesn't always get the recognition he deserves.

"In general in the United Kingdom, Lewis is not recognised how he should be recognised," said Wolff.

"But for whatever reason, there is this idea of hitting out, which maybe it provides the better headline, maybe it sells more newspapers, or gives more clicks.

"I don’t think it recognises the opportunity that we are part of, to see maybe the best driver that has ever existed on an exceptional journey."

The 34-year-old insists however that the public vote is perhaps a barometer of his popularity but not of his performance.

"I don't really care necessarily," he said. "I don't mean that in a negative way it's just people have different opinions.

"That doesn't dictate to me if I'm doing a good or bad job. I know if I'm doing a good or bad job.

"I know how I'm performing and if I've got more potential in myself. I know the great work within my team and if I'm not doing that great on a weekend."

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