SHIFTING GEARS: British Formula One racing champion Lewis Hamilton is slipping out of the cockpit and into a role as a fashion ambassador.

The two-time world champion, who now races for the Mercedes AMG team, has taken on the role for London Collections: Men, which kicked off today and runs through Monday. He joins ambassadors including David Gandy, Oliver Cheshire, and Tinie Tempeh.

“I’ve always been into fashion, but growing up, my family never had the money to buy all these nice things. All the money we had went on racing,” said the 30-year-old driver. “Imagine how my stepmother felt about that – with our money being spent on things like tires!”

Hamilton, who was dressed in a jacquard jacket and tracksuit style bottoms by Oliver Spencer and decked in sparkly stud earrings and gold bracelets, said he’s had lots of different fashion role models over the years, and is eager to explore “all the different brands showing during the week.”

He said he was in close touch with Tempah, and jumped at the chance to take part in LC:M. “It’s a chance for me to give something back to the UK, inspire young designers and young people to get involved creatively,” he said.