During today’s Watches and Wonders exhibition in Geneva, an exclusive live conversation, titled ‘Being a Pilot’, took place between Seven-Time Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton and Nine-Time Grand Prix motorcycle racing World Champion Valentino Rossi.
Swiss luxury watchmaker IWC Schaffhausen brought together the two GOATs, who are both members of the IWC family, to discuss their careers and lives on track.
Hamilton, considered to be the most successful Formula One driver in history, races for IWC’s longstanding partner, the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team. As well as his seven world titles, he holds multiple records within the sport including most race wins - and is an advocate for greater global equality.
Speaking today, Hamilton discussed how he plans to stay focused this season as he strives for the record 8th Championship. He said:
"I don't have any desires to race in anything else." Hamilton continued "We've grown up in the space being at those tracks, the smell, the vibrations, the sound. It's difficult right now to imagine life without it, but at some stage there's going to be a period of time where I don't have it and I'm sure I will miss all that cocktail of emotions that desire from all those different elements."
Rossi called time on his incredible 26-year motorcycling career in 2021. A global icon, he won
a record-setting nine championships in 125cc, 250cc, 500cc and MotoGP. In 2022, the Italian 43-year-old is switching to four wheels for a new chapter, competing in this season’s ten-round GT World Challenge Europe.
Commenting on his career change, Valentino Rossi says:
"I want to be stronger , I want to be faster and to race in the important races." He continued "I want to be fast, I want to try to understand where I can arrive and if I can stay at the top, also with the cars."
Together in conversation, the two racing legends reminisced about a day in 2019 where they switched vehicles and discussed how they felt making the swap from two wheels to four and vice versa. The conversation covered the transferable ‘meta skills’ of racers, their career highlights, as well as their mutual respect and friendship.
Then Rossi added, "Lewis and I are the same, we want to improve, always."