How do I live an extraordinary life

Lewis Hamilton exclusive: "I live an extraordinary life"

Mr. Hamilton, with Roscoe and Coco you have two dogs that you take with you to almost every test and race. Where does your love for dogs come from?

My parents had a Labrador named Goldie. I grew up with this dog. Until I was eight years old, he was by my side every day, even accompanying me to school and picking me up again. He protected me. The day I found out Goldie had died was the saddest day of my life. But even after that, my parents kept having dogs. The public has only known how much I love these animals since I have had dogs myself. I am really very fond of animals.

And now you take care of the dogs - no longer the other way around.

Yes, I have to take responsibility now. This is new to me too. When I got Roscoe, my brother's friend quipped: He's going to die with you! My parents also warned me that I would never have time for them. But they are always with me. And I like the thought that I'm a good father. You are the best in my life and one of the best decisions I have ever made.

They post a lot of pictures of them on Facebook. Why do you enjoy sharing a part of your private life with the public so much? Vettel, for example, doesn't say anything on it.

Yes, we have a different approach and I keep hearing comments about how focused certain people are. I find it very interesting how small actions can spark big discussions. Whether I take photos of my dogs in certain places or not, for example. You know what? I just like that. I love to take pictures. And I live an extraordinary life. There are people who talk about my lifestyle all the time. I would really like to do a documentary one day so that people can see how I really live. I go to bed early and get up early. I am not a party animal. I love cars. 80 to 90 percent of my money is in the bank. I am not wasting it. Still, I have a good life. What I've always dreamed of. And I like to share that with my fans.

Why?

I never thought that there would one day be people who would wave my flag or cheer me because it touches the way I drive my car. There are two ways to deal with this. Like Sebastian, which works great for him. But I feel like I want to share this life with my fans. I get a lot of love and support from my fans. That touches me. Facebook and Twitter are my way of giving back. And unfortunately there are also followers who don't like you at all.

You said you drove Michael's and Nico's cars last year. How did you turn it into your car?

It takes time to develop a car to suit you and your driving style. Sebastian has been with Red Bull since 2009. When he moved there, the car wasn't that spectacular. But over time, his engineers learned what to expect from a racing car. Now Red Bull is his team.

What you could also see from the fact that Webber ...

... fell back further and further. Exactly. But that doesn't just happen. It's hard work. I am now in my sophomore year at Mercedes and was part of the design process for the first time. The team knows my strengths and my weaknesses. So this car was built with my input, whereas last year's car was still more developed with Michael. That was still great, but it took time to adjust some things for me. So now I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I feel even more comfortable in my car this year - and that I have the same prerequisites as Nico.

You are considered an aggressive driver who likes to drive to the limit. How difficult is it for you to think about fuel consumption, which played a major role in 2014?

It's not like I'm constantly pushing the limit. I can also schedule a race, as I did in Austin last year, for example. When it comes to what I like: Of course, I like to drive jet skis at the limit and I like to drive my car at the limit. I have that under control too. That's why I'm so strong in qualifying. You still have to drive tactically in the race.

Can you do this?

I don't think there is anyone in the field who is already perfect at saving fuel. We all have to acquire this ability first. And I've already started with that in the simulator. It's not exactly my thing to do ten laps of full capacity and slow down the rest of the race. But that's sport. So I try my best to adapt. That is a massive challenge. It's about taming the beast.

You can read the entire interview in SPORT BILD's Formula 1 special.