After some rather divisive comments from FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem over bringing personal beliefs into the sport in regards to diversity, Lewis Hamilton has now been able to comment on it.
The statement, which was thought to be aimed at Hamilton as well as Sebastian Vettel and potentially Lando Norris, has caused drama with fans as they question the reasoning behind what he said. He told GranPrix247:
“Niki Lauda and Alain Prost only cared about driving. Now, Vettel drives a rainbow bicycle, Lewis is passionate about human rights and Norris addresses mental health. Everybody has the right to think. To me, it is about deciding whether we should impose our beliefs in something over the sport all the time.
“I am from an Arabian culture. I am international and Muslim. I do not impose my beliefs on other people? No way! Never. If you look at my operation in the UAE: 16 nationalities! Name me one federation that has that many nationalities.
“On top, there are over 34% women and 7 religions. And even more Christians than Muslims. I am proud because it creates credibility and merit.
“But do I go and pose my beliefs? No. The rules are there, even now there are issues when it comes to – for example – jewellery, I didn’t write that.”
Lewis has now responded in a cautious manner as he hadn’t actually read the news:
“I only heard about it this morning. I’ve not read it, so I don’t really know what has been said.
“I’m also aware that sometimes things I’ve said have been taken out of context, so maybe that has happened. But I heard he has clarified things on social media which is positive.
“And it continues to be an important platform for us to use our voices, every single one of us here within the industry, within our companies, to do more, to speak out more on things and to spark more conversations.
“I’m really pride with what we are doing at Mercedes with our pride month star on the car, which is the first time I’ve seen that during my time at Mercedes.
“We have over 100,000 people within Mercedes-Benz and creating a more inclusive environment is so important. Creating better diversity within our organisation but also it’s so important within our sport.
“It’s moving at a very slow pace and we need more people to utilise that platform, so I encourage all the drivers to be more outspoken in future and speak out on things they care about.
“I’m proud of what Seb does and to be an ally of his.”