British Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton is no stranger to controversy.
And the three-time world champion’s latest comments are sure to have his Hollywood-based PR agency somewhat concerned.
Hamilton’s public behaviour has earned him a reputation for being brash and even volatile, so the 31-year-old’s claim that being romantically linked to supermodels Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner is “not good for the brand” is ironic at best – and arrogant at worst.
Hamilton’s comments, published in an interview with the UK’s City A.M, couldn’t be further from the mark.
Some of Hamilton’s off-field controversies for which he has been criticised include: spraying ‘Grid Girl’ Liu Siying with champagne after a 2015 race in China; filming on Snapchat while riding a Harley Davidson in New Zealand; and joking he was penalised during a 2011 race because he was “black”.
Conversely, Hadid and Jenner are the doyennes of the fashion world and represent a new generation of wholesome, approachable and hard-working models.
‘I certainly can’t complain’
Hamilton, who split with his on-again off-again girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger in early 2016, told City A.M that media rumblings of relationships with Hadid and Jenner were bad for his reputation.
“It’s not good for the brand, but I don’t really care … it’s not going to stop me winning races,” he said.
Hamilton went on to describe his love of, and success with, women from a young age.
“Since school I’ve always been into girls, and there are some beautiful girls out there and that’s definitely a good thing,” he said.
“I certainly can’t complain.”
Hamilton dated Scherzinger, who is the lead singer of girl band The Pussy Cat Dolls, between 2010 and 2016, but since then has not shied away from publicly linking himself to beautiful women.
The F1 driver has attended multiple events with Hungarian model Barbara Palvin and Canadian model Winnie Harlow, and is usually eager to be photographed with young models – the more the better.
A keen musician, Hamilton told City A.M that music was his first love and claimed he easily brushed aside media reports about his late-night partying.
“I turn up and I win. Don’t talk to me about what I can and can’t do,” he said.
Hamilton, chasing a fourth world title this year, has won the past two races of the Formula One season.
He sits second in the driver standings, just 19 points behind championship leader and Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg.
The Hadid and Jenner factor
Equally as dominant in the fashion world as Hamilton is in the sports world, Hadid and Jenner represent an entirely different version of young fame.
Incredibly hard working and professional, the pair – who also happen to be best friends – have featured on the cover of every major magazine and walked the runway for every high-end fashion line in their short careers.
Despite sometimes being called out for their privileged upbringings (Jenner is a younger sibling of the Kardashian clan and Hadid is the daughter of supremely wealthy architect and businessman Mohamed Hadid), both models appear to be archetypal representations of the all-American good girl.
So, if Hamilton is determined to link himself with beautiful young women, he and his “brand” could do worse than chasing Hadid and Jenner.