Lewis Hamilton wants to be remembered for creating change rather than winning titles

AUSTIN, Texas -- Lewis Hamilton is hoping to create a legacy that has nothing to do with his driving ability or his multiple Formula One world championships.

The Mercedes driver is chasing a record-breaking eighth title this year and already holds the records for the most wins and pole positions in the sport's history.

But rather than be known as F1's most successful driver when he retires, Hamilton wants to create a legacy that extends beyond the sport.

Asked by ESPN's Nicole Briscoe what he wants to remembered for, Hamilton said: "I don't know, I haven't thought about it. But I hope people say, 'Oh, is that the guy that helped those kids?' or, 'Is that the guy that spoke out on behalf of a group of people and brought it to attention'. That's what I prefer to be remembered for.

"I feel it's almost like a racing driver is not seen as a human being and we are, of course. But I don't really want to be remembered so much for my racing. I want to be remembered for something more human."

In recent years, Hamilton has used his platform in F1 and on social media to highlight issues with social justice, the environment and F1's own lack of diversity. By using his on-track success to bring attention to causes close to his heart, Hamilton says he hopes he will bring about change.

"We've got this amazing platform -- sport does have an amazing following around the world, right? And it shouldn't just be for entertainment, especially when we're going to these places where we can have a positive impact.

"It's not about going to all these countries and just leaving waste behind. We've got to go to these places and leave a legacy behind that's actually changing the communities somehow there. So that's something I'm talking to the sport about on one side of things.

"And again, going back to inclusivity here, what I'm working on is creating a better pipeline. So when we come back in five or ten years' time, you're seeing that people watching TV are seeing better representation.

"There should be no barriers just because of where you come from. It should be more open. That's like my sole drive at the moment."

In July of this year, Hamilton pledged £20 million of his own money to create a new charity, Mission44, which is committed to supporting people from under-represented backgrounds. Part of the charity's work is devoted to increasing diversity in motorsport and Hamilton hopes the combination of action and words will bring about lasting change.

"For years I've been wondering, 'Why am I the only Black driver to come through [in F1]. It can't just to be at the front, there's got to be a bigger reason for it and I couldn't quite understand. "I was being really grateful for that, and living in gratitude is really important, but [I asked myself] what can I do with this? What am I supposed to do with this?

"I think, for me, there's no better feeling than helping people ... for me, that's far greater than wins and all those things. This [F1] is cool but actually having an impact and helping people is what I want to work with."