Pierre Gasly praises Lewis Hamilton’s fashion sense for breaking down barriers

Alpine driver Pierre Gasly pointed to his stubbornness as a driving factor for change in F1

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Pierre Gasly believes Lewis Hamilton’s commitment to his personal principles has allowed the Formula 1 paddock become a more open and expressive place for drivers, noting his stance on wearing his own clothes as one example.

The Mercedes driver often showcases his own fashion ideals when he arrives at the track and when he honours media commitments, to an extent, as he still does sport official teamwear too. The 103-time Grand Prix winner can be seen in a range of colourful outfits and types of clothing when he effectively turns the paddock into his own personal grid walk.

But he’s drawn criticism for that throughout his career, even from racing peers such as Kimi Raikkonen and Ralf Schumacher, however one person who admires his attitude to expression and style is Gasly who defended him when questioned on the matter.

“To be fair, I think you know it’s important to say that without him, it would be different these days,” Gasly told Sky Sports F1 after pointing out Hamilton was the one who introduced the modern F1 dress sense.

“Lewis opened a lot of doors for all of us and I think the mentality has changed slightly. I think people have a lot more space to express themselves.”

Hamilton is not the only one who likes to wear his own outfits to the grid. Another is Zhou Guanyu and Gasly himself likes to sport casual clothes when he turns up ahead of getting into his Alpine car to kick off a weekend or competitive session.

Gasly’s respect to Hamilton’s dedication

Hamilton’s desire for social activism and greater diversity has drawn a mixed reception from the F1 grid, such as resistance to the kneeling for black lives matter in 2020 from several drivers like Max Verstappen.

Or even from the FIA when he called for justice for Breonna Taylor during a podium ceremony, with the governing body later ordering that all drivers ensure their race suits are fully zipped up on the stage.

But Gasly holds respect for the seven-time world champion for remaining committed to his values despite what people might think of them and he has said that this has improved the community for the younger drivers aiming to break through onto the grid.

“Actually, I get on very well with Lewis,” Gasly added. “I still thank him for sticking to his values and to himself all these years because now it’s made the path slightly smoother for us young drivers.”

Pierre Gasly won the 2020 Italian GP | Mark Thompson / Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Hamilton’s causes backed by Ferrari

As a part of the deal to bring the veteran racer to Ferrari, John Elkann has reportedly made somewhere in the region of £350m available to sponsor Hamilton’s social initiatives, which also aim to make the sport more accessible to young people but particularly ethnic minorities.

It is perhaps a bit of a surprise after it contrasts with Ferrari’s famous non-political stance that some pundits thought would keep Hamilton from ever joining the team, with neither willing to budge on the stance.

But the contract will even run until after his time as an F1 driver comes to an end in a great show of loyalty to a driver they haven’t even seat-fitted yet.

It was something which the Mercedes board rejected, despite their shared success with Hamilton, whilst they also rejected a multi-year contract. The Briton later signed a one-plus-one contract extension with the Silver Arrows in August 2023 after insisting he wanted to retire there like Sterling Moss did.

But he later opted out to join Ferrari in 2025 to secure his short term and long term future in the sport. He will replace the out-going Carlos Sainz, who has not yet found another seat although it is early days.

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