Lewis Hamilton claims he once used his imagination to change the design of a critical component in Formula One, a change that has since spread throughout the sport.
The Briton made his mark by showcasing his extraordinary abilities and talent when he advanced to Formula One in 2007 when he joined McLaren.
At McLaren, He also worked closely with his engineers at McLaren to customize the ergonomics of his car to his preferences.
The seven-time world champion has remarked the steering wheel of his MP4-22 was one of the elements on which he concentrated his attention.
“What a lot of people don’t actually know is that I re-designed the steering wheel when I was at McLaren,” he revealed to CNA Luxury.
“And when I came to Mercedes, I did the same thing, and the other teams have all copied the wheel.
“All the old wheels used to be circular. Now, you’ll see there’s a top and the handle comes down and it doesn’t join at the bottom.
“I should have copyrighted it! This is something I’m really proud of; I really love working on the ergonomics of the car.”
But it wasn’t just his car’s crucial steering wheel that got a Hamilton makeover.
“I also designed the seat for my cockpit,” he added. “I filed it down and it’s been pretty much the same seat for 10 years with the team. We also redesigned the pedals with the engineers.
“Those are the things I love to do, as it allows me to tap into a bit of creativity.”
The seven-time F1 world champion has had a challenging year, one that could come to an end without the 37-year-old driver winning even a single race for the first time.
However, Hamilton’s lack of success hasn’t sapped his enthusiasm or drive. The length of his F1 career, however, will only become clear with time.
“I’ve spoken to a lot of amazing athletes over time that have been in competition towards the end of their careers, and also ones who are retired,” he said, addressing the future.
“Many said that they stopped too early or too late. Most said you will know when the time is right.
“But because we’re so single-minded [as racing drivers] and so focused on being the best we can be, we usually lack the time to do other things.
“So when an athlete does retire, it’s like the whole world comes to a stop. So I’m trying to put these things in place so that it’s a very easy transition for me afterwards.”