Lewis Hamilton: Money doesn't drive me – I just love racing

There is plenty of money in Formula One but Lewis Hamilton insists it is not financial gain that motivates him.

Lewis Hamilton is one title win away from equalling Michael Schumacher's record tally of seven.   -  Getty Images

Lewis Hamilton insists money is not and never has been the motivating factor for him as he continues to build a remarkable legacy in Formula One.

The six-time world champion has all the trappings associated with F1 stardom but says his love of racing is what drives him.

Hamilton is a figure who can divide opinion but he sees himself as a fierce competitor first and foremost, with the financial gain his success brings simply "a bonus".

"The thing is I never got into it for money," he told BBC Sport.

"Of course it is great that that piles up – no problem. That is a bonus. As long as those things don't become the lead factor of what I do.

"The core of what I do is that I love racing. I love the challenge. I love arriving knowing I have got these incredibly talented youngsters who are trying to beat me and outperform me, outsmart me, and I love that battle that I get into every single year.

"And I am working with these guys [his Mercedes engineers] who are so much smarter than me and they make me feel smarter. When I am challenging them and proving them wrong so many times, it is unreal."

The Briton gave an insight into the dynamic that exists in the Mercedes garage, where he and chief engineer Andrew Shovlin often engage in debates about technical issues relating to the car.

"It happens a lot," said Hamilton. "I say something to Shov, and he will say: 'No, the numbers say this', and I will say: 'It's this and this and this.' And he will say: 'Oh you are right.' It feels so good. There are a lot of things like that."

Hamilton is one title win away from equalling Michael Schumacher's record tally of seven.