Lewis Hamilton says he owes Formula One nothing as he promotes the sport "better than any other driver ever has".
Hamilton is perhaps the most globally recognised current F1 driver and his extravagant lifestyle and extensive use of social media has attracted much attention in recent seasons. Despite the fame and fortune the three-time world champion has acquired since making his debut in 2007 Hamilton believes he has already given enough back to the sport by promoting it at every opportunity.
"I've been here for 10 years -- given my blood, sweat and tears for the sport. So, I don't feel like I owe it anything," Hamilton told CNN. "I actually probably promote the sport more than any other driver ever has. I'm at more events talking about Formula One more than any driver ever has, probably all the other drivers put together and more.
"I don't feel like I have any more of a responsibility. I've got some incredible fans and I give as much time as I can to motivate them and energize those who do follow me. So I don't know what else I have to give."
There has been a growing sense of unity between F1's drivers this season, brought together as frustrated observers of the qualifying debacle and the due to concerns with the regulation changes planned for next season. The highly-publicised driver meal in Shanghai was a popular demonstration of unity amongst the current grid.
However, Hamilton thinks the influence the drivers truly have over Formula One will always be limited due to the power of those in charge.
"Ultimately sport, business, it's money and power," he said. "We [the drivers] will say stuff but ultimately it's those people who are sitting in their chair, striking a pen, paying checks, making money, that will be the ones that [have the final say]. I'm not saying it's wrong. It's just like a corporate business - money is the power, money is the ruler. The people who own the sport make the decisions."