September 25, 2022

Lewis Hamilton has suggested that Mohammed Ben Sulayem may have been misinterpreted in the FIA ​​president’s comments about the champion’s promotion of human rights.

Hamilton and fellow Formula 1 world champion Sebastian Vettel, who was also mentioned by Ben Sulayem in the recent interview, said they intend to continue using their status to promote causes they are passionate about.

Ben Sulayem recently compared the duo to former drivers Niki Lauda and Alain Prost, who he said “only cared about driving”.

“Now Vettel rides a rainbow bike, Lewis [Hamilton] is passionate about human rights and Norris deals with mental health,” continued Ben Sulayem.

“Everyone has the right to think. For me, it’s about deciding whether we should impose our convictions [sic] into something about sports all the time.

The FIA ​​President issued a statement yesterday emphasizing that “promoting sustainability, diversity and inclusion is a key priority of my term”.

Hamilton said he hadn’t seen the interview and was hesitant to take it at face value.

“I only heard about it this morning,” he said. “I haven’t read it so I don’t really know everything that was said.

“I’m also aware that sometimes things I’ve said have been taken out of context, which may have happened. But I heard he clarified things on social media, which which is positive.

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“That doesn’t stop us from doing what we do,” Hamilton added. “The sport is constantly evolving. We have a bigger audience than ever, I think it’s up nine percent this year or something.

Change is ‘moving at a very slow pace’ – Hamilton

“It continues to be an important platform to use our voices, all of us here, within the industry, within our companies, to do more, to talk more about things, to spark more conversations.”

His Mercedes team has added graphics showing their support for LGBTQ+ inclusion during this weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

“I’m really proud of what we’re doing at Mercedes with our pride star on the car, it’s the first time I’ve seen this during my time at Mercedes which is amazing,” Hamilton said. “It just goes to show that we have over 100,000 people within Mercedes-Benz and that it’s so important to create a more inclusive environment and focus on creating better diversity within the organization. “

Improving diversity is “also so important in sport”, Hamilton added. “It’s moving at a very slow pace and we need more people to use their platform.

“So I encourage all drivers to be more outspoken in the future and talk about things that are close to our hearts.”

Hamilton said he was “proud to see what Seb is doing to be an ally” to underrepresented groups. Vettel also said he intends to continue to champion diversity and inclusion.

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“I don’t think it’s very helpful to go into what has been said, but I think what I would like to say is that the topics that Lewis continues to bring up, the issues that Lando has spoken about and the things that I’ve been mentioning, I think are very important topics to address and they’re bigger than us, bigger than the sport could ever be.

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“So I think it’s important to mention them, to express them and to raise awareness, to make people aware that there are still a lot of things that we can improve.”

Asked if he has confidence in Ben Sulayem, who took over from Jean Todt as FIA president in December, Hamilton said: “We have to have confidence that we will continue to improve.

“I think it’s a question of collaboration. I generally think a good job has been done so far, I think we will improve.

“In particular we try to work with the FIA ​​and I think for Mohammed I think it’s a huge role, big shoes to fill, and we just have to give him time. wants to do and a lot of things he wants to change, so I believe from what he’s told us he will.

Azerbaijan Grand Prix 2022

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