OnQ Blog

10 questions with Formula 1 four-time world champion Lewis Hamilton [video]

Why the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport driver loves his smartphone.

Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport Driver Lewis Hamilton relies on Qualcomm technology for much more than improving lap times. In fact, every time he uses his smartphone he’s using our technology — for GPS, internet, apps and more. But the four-time and current FIA Formula 1 World Drivers’ Champion isn’t the only one who benefits from Qualcomm inventions — people everywhere do, from teens texting friends and executives using always connected PCs, to commuters in connected cars and seniors who love the convenience of smart devices at home. You can learn more about how Qualcomm is transforming the way the world connects, computes, and communicates on our home page.

“For me, my phone, I couldn’t really live without it. It’s the way to communicate with everyone ... considering I’m travelling around the world constantly. It’s probably the most precious asset I currently own.”

Lewis Hamilton, Four-Time World Champion Formula 1 Driver

But right now, you probably want to hear more from Lewis. He sat down with the Qualcomm team to talk about how he uses his smartphone to stay in touch while he’s on the road.

[This interview has been edited for clarity and length.]

OnQ: Off the top of your head, do you know how many Instagram followers you have?

Lewis Hamilton: I think it's just over 6 million.

OnQ: Do you keep track?

Hamilton: I do. I think it’s interesting to see the growth and it varies from day to day. Sometimes it increases 10 to 20,000 a day; sometimes it’s 1,000 or 2,000. My most successful post was when I won the championship this year. And before that I think probably was when I won the championship in 2015.

OnQ: After the race, how long before you reach for your smartphone?

Hamilton: Well, what happens after the race … you get out of the car and you go straight to the podium or straight to the media … it’s not until I get back to my room. So, it’s like an hour or so. But as soon as I get to my room, it’s the first thing I do before I get out of my race overalls … I look at it to see the messages that I may have missed from friends or family or I may have had a conversation that I was having with someone before I went into the race.

OnQ: Have you ever snuck your phone into the car with you?

Hamilton: Not in the race but during practice on Fridays and Saturdays when I come back into the garage I get my phone and I sit in the cockpit there doing messages and emails, and then sometimes I use it for social media.

OnQ: Do you use it in the simulator?

Hamilton: In the simulator, I asked the team to make a pocket for my phone within the cockpit. (See photo) Sometimes you’re waiting for like 40 minutes in the cockpit, waiting for them to make changes. It can be really long and can also suddenly be ready to start again, so instead of getting out, you just sit there ready to go. And so I’m like, “Can I have my phone?” And then you have nowhere to put it. So I used to be driving the simulator with it on my lap, and it then falls down and gets lost. So they made me a slot pouch for it.

OnQ: Let’s play a little game… would you rather keep your phone or your favorite pillow?

Hamilton: Phone.

OnQ: Your phone or your car keys?

Hamilton: Phone.

OnQ: Your phone or Roscoe?

Hamilton: Um, Roscoe.

[Editor’s note: Roscoe is one of two of Lewis’ beloved bulldogs. Did we honestly believe he’d give Roscoe up for a smartphone? No. But because of his unreal driving skills, we just wanted to make sure Lewis is human.]

OnQ: If you didn’t have your phone, how do you imagine that you would be able to connect with your fans?

Hamilton: Away from races and events, when we get to see the fans in person, my phone is the quickest and easiest way to stay connected with fans. It’s kind of a crazy world that we live in now, we have such a direct link to everything, to everyone. You can push a button and you can send a message to millions of people.

OnQ: Thanks for your time Lewis. Any parting thoughts?

Hamilton: For me, my phone, I couldn’t really live without it. It’s the way to communicate with everyone that I know, family, friends and stay connected to society, considering I’m travelling around the world constantly. It’s probably the most precious asset I currently own.

Lewis, best of luck this season from your friends at Qualcomm!

 

Qualcomm Technologies is an Official Partner of Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport.

 

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