Lewis Hamilton, seven-time Formula One World Champion, has opened up about the biggest struggle he has faced throughout his illustrious career in motorsports: his skin color. In a recent interview with BBC’s series “We Are England,” the British driver admitted that being the “only person of color” at his races was one of the “biggest difficulties.”
Hamilton has had an impressive career in Formula One, having 191 podium finishes, 103 pole positions, and 103 race wins. However, despite his success on the track, he has constantly faced challenges off the track due to his race.
“I think the biggest difficulties were the difference in race, being the only person of colour at the track apart from my dad. There’s a lack of diversity through the top of big, big organisations, companies, all the way down.”
To address this issue, Hamilton established the Hamilton Commission in 2020, which aimed to increase diversity within the sport. The commission found that only 1% of those involved in F1 were black. In response, his team, led by Toto Wolff, launched the Accelerate 25 scheme in 2021, which has helped increase the diversity of new employees, with 38% of new hires coming from underrepresented backgrounds.
Hamilton also noted that one of the main reasons for the lack of diversity in the sport is the high cost of entry, but he is hopeful that with the right message and partners, the sport can become more inclusive.
“The problem with our sport is it is expensive. But there are a lot of people out there today, companies that are looking at improving diversity and inclusion. There’s a lot of companies out there that want to be partnered with the right message.”
Hamilton’s work alongside Mercedes is vital for the sport as it continues to grow in popularity. His efforts to increase diversity and representation in the sport are not only important for the future of the sport but also for society as a whole.