Three-time Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton has slammed his sport’s approach to social media, the Brit left frustrated by the rules that stop him from posting videos from the secure but glamorous F1 paddock.
“Unfortunately, Formula One has blocked us from being able to film [anything] in the paddock,” Hamilton said.
“When I first started snapping [at Sochi] in Russia last year, they [Formula One Management] started complaining and it went on and on – and now you’re not allowed to. You’re only allowed to take stills.”
Hamilton has come under fire himself for social media use in the lead-up to the Formula 1 Australia Grand Prix – complaining about Auckland’s Sky City casino on Instagram; while on Snapchat, New Zealand authorities investigated after he took a selfie while riding a motorcycle – shortly after which, he poked fun at the amount of Chinese people on his flight to Melbourne.
The Brit always has his phone with him, and is often seen taking pics and videos – even during official engagements such as press conferences, where such things are generally frowned upon.
But, for Hamilton, video messaging apps like Snapchat provide a direct link with his fans that few other social media platforms can provide.
“It’s all the girls sending me pictures,” joked Hamilton.
“I like social media and I’ve got a great following. I’ve got some incredible fans, too, which follow me from all over the world, people who come to the races.
“[And] with a video you can actually show the stuff that you’re doing, instantly.
“If I took a video right now, edited it, and then wrote a comment and hashtags and put it on Instagram, I [have to] do that later on.
“But with this thing [Snapchat] you can just do it really quick and it kinda gives you more of an insight into what’s going on in my day.”
However, while many have been critical of Hamilton for being focused on fame and his party-boy lifestyle, his global appeal is undeniable as one of the world’s top sportsmen and with it comes more interest to F1.
It’s a huge contrast to other drivers, such as four-time world champion, Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel – who shuns the spotlight away from the track, despite repeated calls from the sport’s top brass that he should do more.
“Up to now I haven’t understood all of the modern technologies fully so I’m sure he can give me some classes but I’m not that interested,” Vettel said.
“I think everyone picks his style, the things they like. I think we’re all different. Some people like their pizza plain – like a margarita – some people like a lot of stuff on top of it. I think that’s a good summary.”