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Lewis Hamilton has said “nothing will stop me from speaking” in response to FIA’s new rule that prohibits drivers from speaking out on political issues during race weekends.
On Wednesday, at Mercedes’ new car reveal for the upcoming Formula One season, Lewis Hamilton responded to a new FIA rule put in place during the offseason. The FIA is the governing body for Formula One and in December made a rule requiring prior written permission for drivers to make or display “political, religious, and personal statements or comments” during race weekends.
“Nothing will stop me from speaking on the things that I feel that I’m passionate about and issues there are,” Hamilton said. “I feel the sport does have a responsibility, still, always, to speak out as a means to create awareness on important topics, particularly as we are traveling to all these different places, so nothing changes.”
Lewis Hamilton refuses to remain silent
Hamilton has used his platform as the most accomplished Formula One driver in history to speak out on injustices towards Black people.
Appearing on an episode of Good Morning America last May, Hamilton shared how lonely he felt in Formula One despite his accomplishments.
“It’s been generally quite a lonely journey,” Hamilton said. “It’s just been me and my family, we’re the only Black family in Formula One.”
Hamilton has shared about the racism he has experienced in the sport. Last year, after video emerged of three-time world champion Nelson Piquet using racist language when speaking about Hamilton, he said “the time has come for action”.
“It’s more than language,” Hamilton said. “These archaic mindsets need to change and have no place in our sport. I’ve been surrounded by these attitudes and targeted my whole life. There has been plenty of time to learn. Time has come for action.”