Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Sochi Autodrom, 2019

Will Hamilton’s ‘wokening’ bring his F1 career to an early end?

2019 F1 season

Posted on

| Written by

Earlier this year Lewis Hamilton put his private jet, which had starred in various Instagram posts chronicling a lifestyle of very conspicuous consumption, up for sale.

Why? Some suggested he wanted to wash his hands of a purchase which, it had been revealed, he had avoided paying over £3 million in tax on. But Hamilton indicated he sold his jet because he was concerned about the impact his travel was having on the environment.

This is not the only concession he has made to environmentally-responsible living. The most obvious is his move to a plant-based diet. His business interests also reflect his environmental concerns: Hamilton has put his name to vegan footwear and a plant-based burger chain.

Hamilton being Hamilton, he has not been shy about giving voice to his feelings on social media. He’s posted videos of himself cleaning up beaches, shared graphic images of animals being hunted and killed and urged his tens of millions of followers to consider the environmental impact of their actions.

His comments have taken an increasingly political angle in respect of countries which hold rounds of the world championship. While in Japan last weekend he drew attention to a nearby dolphin hunt, remarking“that’s obviously not a great part of their heritage here, their culture.” Earlier this year he was vocal on the subject of the rainforest fires in the Amazon, which might make for some tough questions when he visits Sao Paulo for the Brazilian Grand Prix next month.

But while the newly-‘woke’ Hamilton appears to be sincerely passionate about these causes, there is an obvious and startling contradiction. Many of us have concerns about global heating and how our actions contribute to it. But none of us are multiple champions in a sport as spectacularly wasteful as F1.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Singapore, 2019
F1 is hardly an environmentally responsible activity
Not only does the very act of Formula 1 racing involve polluting – irrespective of the awesome efficiency of their modern V6 hybrid turbos – but the travel involved in shipping the circus to 21 destinations (22 on the 2020 F1 calendar) generates vastly greater levels of emissions.

How do we square the contradiction of loving motorsport yet feeling concern for the future of our world? It’s a question many of us will have asked ourselves. But nowhere is that contradiction more stark than when a soon-to-be six-times world champion starts opining about the consequences of carbon emissions.

In a series of social media posts earlier this week, Hamilton gave fresh insight into the depth of his concerns about the situation. “I’m sad right now with the thought of where this world is going,” he wrote.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

“Extinction of our race is becoming more and more likely as we over use our resources. The world is a messed up place. World leaders either uneducated or don’t care about the environment at all.” The posts were later deleted and, today, Hamilton reappeared and told his followers he was “still right here fighting”.

Stoffel Vandoorne, Mercedes, Formula E testing, Valencia, 2019
Could Hamilton follow Mercedes into Formula E?
But where is Hamilton’s environmental evangelism going to lead him? Could he contemplate hanging up his helmet to go do something else?

The all-electric Formula E might be a logical destination, particularly as Mercedes will have its own team in the new season which starts next month. But Hamilton has not been warm about a championship he previously described as being “slower than Formula Ford”.

Nonetheless, when he spoke about the championship last year the contradictions between Hamilton the racer and Hamilton the environmentalist were unmistakable.

“The gasses that we emit with our cars are not particularly helpful for the climate and for the world, so on one side that’s a concern for me,” he said.

“But on the other side, as a racing fan, I’m a petrolhead and I will always be a petrolhead. There will never be a time when I’m an ‘electric head’. I hope, at least, in my period of time, it’s always going to be a fuelled car with at least some sort of V-shaped engine, with some sort of sound.”

Now in his 13th season of F1, Hamilton’s career is clearly nearer its end than its beginning. Previously he has indicated he intends to carry on racing beyond 2020. But has his concern for the planet grown deep enough for him to rethink that?

If his commitment to the cause is sincere, he can’t expect to avoid such questions, nor the accusations of hypocrisy – fair or not – which will follow if he chooses to race on.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2019 F1 season

Browse all 2019 F1 season articles

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

Posted on Categories 2019 F1 season articles, 2020 F1 season articlesTags , , , ,

Promoted content from around the web | Become a RaceFans Supporter to hide this ad and others

  • 131 comments on “Will Hamilton’s ‘wokening’ bring his F1 career to an early end?”

    1. He’s just finding all new ways for people to hate him

      1. They’re going to hate him because he wants us to do better?

      2. He doesn’t need to find new ways to hate him. As we have seen over his career you don’t actually need a a reason; or possibly a reason you won’t articulate, to hate him.
        But on the subject matter we probably all have these contradictions. But I’m not sure why being a champion makes you more conflicted; or according to some more guilty. He maybe good at producing this F1 drug we all crave; but he’s not pushing it onto us. He was doing it long before any of us got around to watching him. Personally I blame the dealers like Keith for allowing us easy access to it.

        1. @riptide I wouldn’t really say the last part, many of us watched him grow through karting to here, and many of us watched the series before he was even a future prospect given his path by McLaren and Mercedes. Point being that many of us have been hooked long before Hamilton even and there are even some that were up in arms against changes that in reality have made a cleaner series than it was in the 00s, 90s and 80s and so far back.

          I don’t think that wanting to help the planet while being a fan of F1 are so polarizing that you can’t be both. As for the rest of your point, I absolutely agree with you on what you’re saying.

          1. I agree. I am an environmentalist and a big F1 fan. F1 has not been road relevant for many years and it’s impact as a sport is tiny in the general scheme of things. It could do more to be more friendly to the environment but it is not like banning F1 would save the planet. Formula e is highlighting EVs and I am a fan of that too. I can drive an ev and still enjoy people racing fast cars and I can still be impressed by the engineering.

            1. Agreed. We can be environmentally conscious and race 20 cars 22 times a year. Millions of people watching 20 drivers be extravagant is an extremely efficient way to access motorsport.

      3. I’d argue he’s finding ways to make us like him. I was never his greatest fan (2007 excepted, cos he was kind of the under dog) but lately he’s been so damn good, he’s really stepped up ahead of the other top drivers of his generation, it’s kind of won me round. Speaking up on important issues and using his platform to raise them is more important than worrying about fatuous accusations of hypocrisy.

      4. Not really. Most Hamilton haters already have a reason.

    2. “Not only does the very act of Formula 1 racing involve polluting – irrespective of the awesome efficiency of their modern V6 hybrid turbos – but the travel involved in shipping the circus to 21 destinations (22 on the 2020 F1 calendar) generates vastly greater levels of emissions.“

      Keith, F1 has been carbon neutral since 1997.


    3. Nah he’ll keep driving, if he gives up they’ll just put another carnivorous driver in his place

      1. Is this really about the contradictions of F1 and environmental issues? You could argue F1 helps push the technology which ultimately makes it more effeicent. You could say the fuel used in travelling and racing is a drop in the ocean compared to the savings which follow F1 research.

        There again watching as a projectile from the car in front dispatches your wing mirror and comes close to ‘dispatching’ you, would be more than enough to waken anyone.

        Btw, did Hamilton ever get an apology from the stewards? I recall they were gracious enough to apologised after the blue flag debacle at last year’s Singapore meet.

    4. I am always mixed about this topic and my point of view is that all efforts are good, we shouldn’t expect everyone to do like Greta tomorrow. Global warming is currently the main topic but wastes management is as important.

      In the case of Hamilton, while it sounds contradictory with his lifestyle and his job, it is also his job which offer him such a strong voice listened by millions. If half of us turn into gardeners to feed ourselves and be greens, the other half will never hear about it…

      My point is, every step in the good direction is a step, and everyone should be able to decide what they want to give up or not.

      1. In the case of Hamilton, while it sounds contradictory with his lifestyle and his job, it is also his job which offer him such a strong voice listened by millions.

        @jeanrien – good point there.

        I believe that at a point when “brand Hamilton” is large enough and self-sustaining, he can hang up his racing boots to pursue such interests. That said, I honestly don’t know whether he is already at that point or not.

      2. Global warming is only the “main topic” for the ultra-left, virtue signalers, and celebrities that want to do what other celebs are doing/saying. For the rest of us, we realize its an exaggerated sham that is as much a mission to consolidate resources in the hands of government as it is to “save the world”. This crap about all of us dying isn’t born out by any model or any IPCC projection and these leftists that exclaim it’s the end of us are the worst of the worst. The rest of us have bills to pay, family responsibilities, and don’t want to have $1,300 power bills, just so the sky is falling crowd can feel better.

        1. Well I have never voted left wing and I am an environmentalist. stop being so ridiculous and blind to science and wake up. Why would you have $1300 power bills? Renewable power is cheaper than fossil power! Electric cars are cheaper to own and run than petrol cars… You would be doing yourself a favour by going green!

          1. Hahahahahahahaha

          2. If you live in Australia a $1300 electricity bill is not hard to achieve at all. Thanks largely to “green” energy legislation. A massive transfer of wealth from the poor to the corporations.

            1. Massive transfer of wealth to corporations, yes. But that has nothing to do with green energy legislation. Instead, it results from state governments selling off their distribution assets to those aforementioned corporations, who then want to squeeze as much profit from supply charges as possible, and a federal government that won’t pull it’s finger out and actually create a legislative framework that gives producers and investors some degree of certainty about the future of the electricity market here. At the moment investment in renewable capacity is being held back because the investors aren’t sure whether the feds are going to build a bunch of communist-style state-owned power plants that they’ll then have to run at a loss to compete in the market.

        2. Trying to present extremist views such as climate change denial as a majority view is just dishonest on your part @jblank. And it goes without a mention that climate change denial is one of the typical virtue signalling behaviours for right wing and conservative extremists. After all virtue signalling is the kind of behaviour you are doing right now! Being loud and proud of something. In your case that is about being anti-left, anti-science and anti-government. Extremists of any kind rarely base any of their opinions on facts and people on the extreme left and no better than the people on extreme right. But climate change denial is definitely an extremist view and not a majority view.

          1. Indeed. It is only recently that the right have been denying science and climate change in particular. Margret Thatcher spoke about climate change and she could hardly be described as a leftie… She was however a scientist…

            1. IIRC Animals, even early humans walked and emigrated where there is now Ocean and Sea and went on to survive. That’s climate change.

          2. @socksolid there is a massive difference between acknowledging that mankind is having an affect on the climate and the extrapolation that some kind of catastrophe is going to occur. You betray your extreme views by name calling instead of discussing facts.

            1. Thank you, at least you grasp what I said.

              Oh and if believing a majority point of view is important I will gladly remain a skeptic and a contrarian. As a libertarian I am not inclined to group-think.

            2. Catastrophes have already occured because of rapid climate change. After all, there is a bulding consensus that within historians that non human related climate change is at the root of Rome’s fall.

              Climate change should however be ok for those with means to strive and adapt (UK may actually benefit from it). But beware of normalcy bias. There will be upheaval, we are indeed heading towards enormous change, we are not preparing to it and I am baffled as to why people would be against acting on it.

              After all, even if there is no consequence, even if there is no climate change or no affect on civilisation, why on earth should we keep on polluting the air (can be said of soil pollution, plastic pollution etc.) ?

              As to Jason, don’t drape yourself in your contrarian mantel, you are spewing propaganda from powerful groups and I am afraid you are not alone, but one of a massive heard.

            3. @jblank You seem so averse to “group-think” that you’ve managed to abandon “think” altogether. Following the majority isn’t always wise, but in this case you’re being asked to believe to overwhelming majority of those *who actually know what they are talking about.*

              I’m not asking you to get totally on board and start being an activist. What I am instructing you to do is stay the hell out of the way of those who are at least making an effort. It won’t end well for you.

            4. @Jason Blankenship, you do not have to group think. All the data and experiments are out there for you to replicate and price wrong if you like. Just use science to do so rather than conspiracy. The beauty of science is that it is open and transparent. You can access the data and check the conclusions for yourself.

              However I would ask this. If you were told you had to have an operation and that 2 different doctors have you 2 different options. One of those options meant certain death… Let’s say that one of the options was backed by almost 100% of the specialists in the field… Which one would you opt for?

          3. How can you be anti science anti government and be anti left… That’s literally the left!! Lol all about feelings

          4. What’s the most prevalent gas in the atmosphere that promotes global warming?
            The scientific answer is water vapour.
            ‘Water vapor accounts for the largest percentage of the greenhouse effect, between 36% and 66% for clear sky conditions and between 66% and 85% when including clouds’
            see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse_gas for data
            How many people are campaigning to reduce the amount of water vapour in our atmosphere?

            1. My partner is a biologist. She and all of her co-workers, bar one, express left wing views of varying degrees.

              It might only be their workplace, but to claim you can’t be left wing and understand science is clearly disingenuous and just an unjustified attack on the intellect of people you don’t agree with politically.

            2. You really ought to have paid more attention at school. And you really ought o do more research now too as you seem to lack some basic knowledge (or you simply ignore anything that contradicts your world view). The greenhouse effect is a good thing up to a point. It keeps our planet from becoming so cold that life could not exist properly. However what is currently happening is that the balance that should be keeping the planet at a reasonable pattern of ups and downs has been severely disrupted by human induced effects. Water vapour is indeed the most abundant constituent in the atmosphere, however it only last for days as opposed to decades (methane) or centuries (co2). So accessible water vapour can dissipate very quickly and rebalance. Also warm air holds more water vapour so by pumping more co2 into the atmosphere we are also allowing the air to hold more water vapour which then increases the effects even more. Also as that is happening it is also causing the release of more methane which is more potent that co2 and that increases the warming and then again increases the amount of water vapour the atmosphere can hold which in turn increases the warming etc…

              So you can see that by drastically reducing our co2 release then we can have dramatic effects on combatting climate change but by not doing anything we are getting to the point where we will lose the ability to stop it going out of control.

              To argue that the left are somehow duping everyone and that the right are correct is ludicrous and missing the point entirely. The far right are the ones ignoring science. However this is not a right-left issue and as I have said, normal right wing people are not denying climate change, Margaret Thatcher understood the effects of humans on the climate and understood how serious it could be. She was hardly left wing…

              Stop using confirmation bias to satisfy your conscience and start looking into the actual science.

    5. If he really wants to help, I’m sure a guy with his influence and financial status can do a lot… Opening a new plant based restaurant is one thing (a tiny one let’s be honest), but maybe using his fame.and influence to invest in eco-friendly technologies, put a spot light in the work a lot of students, researchers, academics, whatever, are doing for recycling, energy saving, a more efficient way of life, is a better way to fight than posting on Instagram.

      1. He’s helping by using his voice and platform to bring awareness. If he can get 1% of those who follow him to make a change in how they eat, recycle etc, then he has succeeded.

        1. Goggles Paisano
          19th October 2019, 2:36

          And? Has it worked? Have you changed?

      2. That’s what he has been doing for years. It’s well documented. Just about all his philanthropy efforts; which are numerous, are driven by making the world a better place for children. I don’t really see how that can be disputed or dismissed.

    6. For the sake of F1, I hope he does…..

        1. Because i care more about the sport than about specific drivers. Every other Dutch guy i know drewls when news about Verstappen comes by. If RB defeats Merc or Ferrari i wouldn’t care who of their drivers wins, i dislike hyping drivers/teams and/or them being way to dominant. I liked Schumi is 2000, disliked him and Ferrari in ’01/’02/’04. Same with Vettel during his dominance at RB. A season like 2012, when 4 drivers of 3 teams had a chance at the title, that’s what I want to see. And if a driver gains so many titles, i’d rather see it being very close each time than one team dominating so often. I was thoroughly amused that, although It had to become a Merc, Rosberg won in ’16, just for the change.

          1. So you hate good drivers…? How odd…

            I bet you loved Maldonado!

            1. That’s not fair. Everyone loved Maldonado. C’mon!

      1. Really, I consider it a privilege to live in a time where one can witness his talent.
        Istanbul ’06, that’s when I realized he was something special; and i’d never heard of him before that.
        He’ll always be a WINNER, whatever he does good luck to him.
        ‘We win and lose together’.

        1. I think the sad thing is when they look at a Hamilton, Schumacher, Clark, etc behind the wheel they can’t see whats different about their skills and those displayed by a journeyman. Imagine not being able to spot how the likes of Leclerc, Hamilton and Norris balance their car before going through Maggots and Becketts, or the Mistral chicane. Not being able to see why Hamilton for example can preserve his tyres where others can’t. Shame really.

    7. I hate it that we are prone to pointing fingers at somebody who feels we could do better just because he is part of a highly polluting system. You don’t have to live naked in the woods to be allowed to underscore that our system is indeed not sustainable. Benefitting from the system does not preclude you from denouncing it. Sure, it’s a form of hypocrisy, but we all have to live with our contradictions.

      After all “anti system populists” denounce the media… In the media. I doubt that they see the hypocrisy in that.

      1. @tango Spot on.

        Everything has a cost, to something or someone.

        Hamilton is able to use his status to raise awareness to audiences who might not otherwise be interested in said causes.

    8. Somebody speak to Nicole. He needs her back. Bad.

      1. Like back when he was losing championships? That’s like saying he needs a headache back.

    9. Nothing Hamilton can do can make his life carbon neutral. His deficit is way too great, same for any rich person, same for each and every human on the planet. Still very hypocritical for wealthy people to preach to anyone else about the state of the planet, they are the most guilty.

      1. So because what he did until now generated a lot of pollution, it’s too late for him. He should not do anything and be banned for life of anything related to environmental issues. Sounds strange to me… With that approach, no-one is ever going to do anything.

        Seriously, we all have our contradictions, conflicting interest and actions. Only extremist don’t (and well… that is to say on paper). Maybe it’s now fashionable to be “eco-friendly”, but any effort is better than nothing. And by using his popularity for that cause, he is doing more than just a little.

        I personally sympathize with him on that (and believe me, on don’t on many subject), because I can relate to it: I’m a big fan of Motorsport and cars since I was born. I would love to have a Ferrari in my garage, and go on track to have fun with whatever has 4 wheels. But I’m also very interested in science and climate change is a very worrying things. I have a “not very eco-friendly car” (unfortunately something much more normal than a Ferrari ;-)) and I take the plane on regular basis… but I try to use public transportation and my bicycle as much as I can, we avoid plastic and using chemical products as much as we can… That’s not much, but that’s a beginning. Maybe if everybody was as aware of environmental issue and was doing a little something, the world would start to go in the right direction, even if not everything can be solve immediately.

    10. The all-electric Formula E

      The only clear thing about electric Formula E and ANY electric car being “green” is that it is a clear lie.

      Hope Lewis sees through that.

      As of his further participation in F1… as it stands 2021 F1 is not worthy not only of participating in, but watching as well…
      Let’s wait what “bosses” decide in the end, and then talk about Lewis.

      I am perfectly fine with hanging my F1 “helmet” (in the meaning of following), along his real helmet at the end of 2020.

    11. It’s ironic that without this carbon-heavy sport he wouldn’t be in a position to positively influence greater behavioral change.

      Ultimately he would be much better off staying in F1 and continuing to be vocal about it. He won’t himself be carbon neutral, but his promotion of the cause will more than offset that.

    12. I don’t like him as a driver but this is something I kinda do respect him for. You could argue he’s a bit two-faced given he’s winning championships in one of the most wasteful and needless activities in the world, but at the same time he’s got quite a platform to be able to say this stuff from – stuff that needs to be said. Sure he can be overdramatic with it but at least he’s using that platform of his to try and do some good.

      Also its unlikely to happen but I think it’d be great if he did put his money where his mouth is and join Formula E, dominate that championship and become a champion of green technology. If the FE cars get a little faster I think he’d do it, now Merc have a team there.

      1. @rocketpanda how is FE all that better? Production, staging consumption and the like aren’t all that vastly different to other series, the only factor of difference is the car. And even in that, the production of the batteries and the waste by product as well as the charging stations used and other parts of production for the car…

        Sure on race day it’s clean but that’s about it.

        I will say he is putting his money where his mouth is, through philanthropy, which probably has a more longer lasting impact than the stereotypical thoughts people will have if he joins and dominates FE for some short stint.

        1. I don’t know this for sure, but I’d assume that they would’ve found more efficient ways of getting everything to the tracks and creating all of the stuff in the first place. It would be highly unlike a global corporation to do such a faceless act as pretending to care about the environment for the time the cars are on track, but not care about it when the cameras aren’t on, right? Right? Right? …
          Or maybe that is actually true but it’s the teams who bring their equipment out more efficiently rather than in a way mandated by the FIA. Honestly I don’t know, it could be interesting to find out how that all works, although if it is not eco-friendly then an article may seem biased and be subject to criticism. I’d still like to know though, there may even be articles already out there that I’m too lazy to go and find.

        2. I would rather have co2 in the air than the pollution from battery manufacturing. As a holder of a battery patent, I think I know a little about battery production; nasty stuff that never goes away. And by the way, European electrical production is largely based on nuclear power. Talk about bad left overs. Give me more CO2 and more greening of the earth anyday.

          1. Nuclear Power is among the cleanest. The disposal of nuclear waste is an issue but only in so that nobody wants it buried near them. The fact is that it can be safely stored for centuries and we have the technology to do it. Greenie weenies hate it but if they really want less CO2, they should beg for more nuclear plants.

    13. Whilst all his detractors may have valid points on this issue, the fact that he is involved in Formula 1 does not make his point any less valid.

      I think you can have a job that isn’t environmentally friendly, and still care about the environment. Moreso, you can truly believe something whilst not yet doing it. This obviously doesn’t remove your right to have an opinion on it.

      After all, driving an F1 car is a job based on a skill he has, rather than a hobby or pastime. Of course, he can quit his job – which he obviously will at some point in the future. But in the meantime, he still has the right to complain.

      Furthermore, he doesn’t have the power to change Formula 1’s carbon footprint, and he is doing his best to reduce his own. We ought to remember Lewis is not the one carting tons of stuff around the globe. If F1 manufactured the cars on site at every track and race, he’d still drive them the same way.

      I simply don’t see any hypocrisy or anything wrong with the point he has raised (to those who level this accusation). Again, there is nothing wrong in complaining about stuff – even if your profession is guilty of what you are complaining about.

      This would be like us berating a police officer for complaining about police brutality and endemic racism in the police force – just because he is a police officer.

      And to be clear, hypocrisy is not when you do something whilst preaching against it. It is when you PRETEND and you are not being genuine.

      To all intents and purposes, i don’t think anyone can claim Lewis’s concern about the environment is not genuine.

      As for moving to Formula E, the accusations still wouldn’t go away; because FE still has a carbon footprint – probably just as large as F1, if not even more.

      1. The carbon footprint of F1 isn’t nearly as bad as some other motor sports, especially since so many people get enjoyment from it. GP2 and GP3 get a fraction of F1’s audience, WEC has 24 hour races, WRC is barely on television these days.

        1. @emu55

          The carbon footprint of F1 isn’t nearly as bad as some other motor sports, especially since so many people get enjoyment from it.

          So if people are enjoying it, it is OK?
          I am not an Eco Warrior type but you really painted a Bullseye on your face with that one ;P

          1. I think his point was Carbon Emissions/Number of viewers is probably lower for formula 1 than other less popular motorsports.

      2. @kbdavies: Well stated. CoTD

    14. Wow, all these people calling Lewis a hypocrite because he drives an F1 car for a living… That’s like calling Extinction Rebellion a bunch of hypocrites for causing massive traffic issues during their protests.

      When was the last time any of you attacking him went and spent some of your free time cleaning up a beach of it’s rubbish?

      Yeah, his lifestyle up to this point has probably contributed hundreds of times over what a “normal” person has to harmful emissions/pollution/waste – but his activism NOW also spreads hundreds of times over what you bunch of keyboard warriors can achieve.

      If you wanna call out hypocrisy, consider whether you really NEED to drive yourself into work every day (and if you can’t cycle 10-15 miles and don’t have any serious medical issues, have a look at your lifestyle in a broader sense), or if you REALLY do take the extra few minutes to rinse your food packaging and properly sort it for recycling, or if need those new trainers/iphone/big TV…

    15. I don’t think Hamilton would quit, right now he is best placed to try change people’s minds. Once he retires, his global influence will be reduced.

    16. All true but Formula 1 at least works towards better fuel efficiency. Compare to football: teams and fans from dozens of clubs in almost every country travelling to matches usually twice a week, and in the case of international matches (Champions League etc.) across entire continents. I’ll hazard a guess that involves a lot more fuel and resources being consumed. Same applies to other sports and recreational pastimes, holidaying abroad, short vacations etc. TBH I have more issues with the ‘elite lifestyle’ Formula 1 has often tried to project, it’s why I prefer Liberty to Ecclestone, for example. The more grassroots and accessible racing becomes, the better. Yes, ideally racing would switch to electric. It will lose the noise and atmospherics of the petrol age, but I suspect that evolution is inevitable.

      1. @david-br They could go hydrogen. It’s very clean can be produced using solar power and produces mostly water as waste.
        Apparently there is nitrogen produced and due to the heat there is a reaction between that and oxygen making nitrogen oxides (NOx) which is not good. But in theory Hydrogen power can work without producing NOx.
        So where better to sort out the solution than on the race track?
        So we get to keep F1 and all of the sounds and the atmospherics it is famous for, and we get to keep complaining about it :))

    17. I hope he continues in F1. I typically don’t root for him, however if he feels this strongly about this cause he needs to look past whatever guilt he has over his own consumption and think of the massive audience he has to champion his cause. He gets paid to travel around the world and race cars, but in doing so his name is recognized everywhere and even if he only inspires 5% of his global fans to make positive changes in their lives, that has a big cumulative effect. So I hope he stays, and I hope he uses his voice for what he thinks is important, and I hope his wealth allows him to invest in other new businesses and organizations he believes in as well.

      Now, with that being said… it’s a juicy thought (like a nice, medium-rare steak) to imagine what would happen if he pulled a Rosberg and hung up his boots the day after winning the championship this year. Silly season could turn into pure chaos! Who would fill his seat? Verstappen? Vettel? Either of those would set into motion several other changes at other teams. What if Merc signed Hulkenberg who is currently out of a drive, is German, and has been held in high regard by a lot of people for a long time? Or would they take a chance and promote Russell earlier than planned?

      I hope Hamilton stays, for a number of reasons. But it certainly wouldn’t be boring if he decided to step back either.

    18. He’ll be 35 start of next season, and doesnt seem to be looking to quit any time soon. Even if his reason for retiring is his ‘wokening’, I wouldn’t call it an early end.

    19. To answer the question……..boy do I hope so. He can go join Antifa and get his leftism kicks away from the sport.

    20. https://www.forbes.com/sites/larrybell/2013/02/05/in-their-own-words-climate-alarmists-debunk-their-science/#27a6861e68a3

      At some point you people are going to have to come to grips with the fact that we’re being played on this issue.

    21. That’s a lie. I comment on a variety of subjects. Don’t like what I have to say? Ignore it. In other words….pound sand, Sparky.

      1. Who you replying to? The voices in your head?

        1. No, the guy who had his post deleted by the mods. Go back to bed.

          1. You can’t get through a post without throwing an insult or getting aggressive can you? Shows a real lack of intelligence.

            Some highlights from your last 20 posts:

            “Greenie Weenie”
            “Go back to bed”
            “Global warming is only the “main topic” for the ultra-left, virtue signalers”
            “You Hammy sycophants are all the same.”
            “He is such a whiny, left-wing, little biatch.”
            “Merc is and always will be, full of crap.”
            “How about you go play in traffic”
            “Excuse me while I throw up. Abolish racial hatred?”

            Strange person…..

    22. GtisBetter (@)
      18th October 2019, 16:09

      I would sooner believe the earth is flat then this pile of nonsense. Fallacies, distortion and lies. It can all easily be debunked. But far fetched lies are more glamorous then boring truth.

    23. He’s in a very similar position to high-profile musicians who join climate campaigns… their lifestyle (in their case, touring) makes them painfully easy targets for dismissal and accusations of hypocrisy. Those opposed to whatever protest is taking place pull these kinds of people aside and (figuratively) beat them with a stick, over and over, in the hope that doing so will ruin the credibility of the entire movement. In the minds of some people, it does just that.

      That makes them good and bad for these movements… on one hand they raise the profile of the cause and potentially influence their fans to become involved. But on the other they provide an open goal for anyone who fancies taking a cheap, effective shot. They’re a gateway to deploying the ‘do as I say, not as I do’ attack, which is particularly difficult to directly defend against.

      But Bono stopping touring, or Hamilton stopping driving, or Sherlock stopping advertising cars, or Prince Harry catching a hot air balloon, would be tiny drops in an ocean of whatever height it happens to have risen to when those things happen. They’re cogs in a machine with multiple redundancies and what they do as individuals doesn’t really matter. I dislike misinformed, virtue-signallying preaching by ‘celebrities’ as much as the next person, but I welcome genuine voicing of concerns from famous people who have a platform and something they truly believe in.

      So I hope he doesn’t stop racing, because as an F1 fan I want to see the best drivers racing for as long as possible. And I also hope he doesn’t stop saying what he thinks about stuff… especially stuff he’s researched and developed a proper interest in.

      1. The famous have the platform to get attention but they instantly draw fire because of their fame.
        It is an interesting dichotomy.

      2. @neilosjames

        If someone who has $285 million is a cog with no ability to change their lifestyle to be far more eco-friendly, then what chance do the rest of us have? Like half of western society that has almost no wealth or is in debt?

        Hamilton chose to have a $13 million car collection and a $5.6 million yacht. None of that is necessary for his job. He chooses to live a life of immense luxury where he could choose to live a life 10 times as luxurious as the average person and still be way more eco-friendly than he is. But instead, he competes with celebrities for status by buying tons of luxury goods and traveling all over the place, not just when necessary for Formula 1.

        As for Bono, the guy could choose to not evade taxes, so the government can spend more on welfare or subsidies for eco-friendly behavior. Instead, he contributes to the global phenomenon of elites evading taxes where they can, spending his ill-gotten gains on his $20+ million yacht, while chastising the people who actually pay taxes for not being good enough people.

        They can get away with it though, because they have tons of groupies who treat these ultra-rich, very powerful people as if they are oppressed and downtrodden.

        1. @aapje We have no chance at all – as individuals, nothing any of us do would make an appreciable difference.

          The point I was going for was that the machine, wider society as a whole, is what needs to change. With that in mind, I’d much rather praise (well, tolerate) a prominent voice for getting a message across than criticise the voice’s owner for failing to meet some vague standards of what a person allowed to comment on climate problems lives and acts like.

          1. @neilosjames

            The machine is us: consumers, voters, rich people, etc. We still have a somewhat free and democratic society, so the way to have major change is either for many individuals to make a small difference, which does add up to a big difference when many people do it, or to turn our society (even more) into an authoritarian system. Lots of people are clearly clamoring for the latter (and certainly not just ‘populists’), but I predict that it will just mean that those in charge will selfishly design society to their own benefit or of their ingroup, as has happened so many times in the past.

            Anyway, I see a ton of supposedly eco-friendly people who virtue signal out the wazoo, while clearly not wanting to do what is actually necessary according to their claims. For example, people who keep flying a lot, while taking measures that reduce their carbon footprint by a fraction of what the flights cause. Instead, they try to put heavy burdens on the disenfranchised, the poor, the less educated. When those object, this is called bigoted, ‘populism,’ etc.

            I personally don’t think that we have a chance, people are just too selfish at the end of the day. Greta Thunberg shows this off most clearly, with her autism, she doesn’t have the natural human hypocrisy where people try to gain status by spouting the ‘right’ beliefs and buying products that signal how great they are, while behaving selfishly in ways that strongly conflict with their supposed beliefs if they can get away with it.

    24. Do it Lewis.
      Put your beliefs and concerns where your mouth is.

      Reject a life of international stardom.
      Reject flying around the world to drive high performance racing cars because you like the money.

      Use your fame to make this world a better place for us and our children.

      Go on Lewis – – – do it – – – I dare ya!

    25. The beach cleaning, protesting cruelty to animals, supporting disadvantaged kids, these are easy to see as positive actions, but when it comes to the whole global warming thing, he would be best advised to educate himself properly before doing anything rash.

      Every day we see some kind of weather porn in the media and those of us who follow the subject know it’s the outliers that get the publicity, and they have for as long as we’ve had news. When it comes to actually measuring what is happening it’s difficult to get a true picture, so many factors corrupt the data. I’ve just seen probably the best illustration of how true or otherwise the predictions of thermageddon really are, and it’s all thanks to the reporting of weather in the media, who knew they’d be this useful?

      For the video version of the article do a search on “tony heller the knockout punch video”

      Don’t worry, it’s not complicated and not very long at 15 minutes, you’ll look at the topic with renewed information after you’ve watched the final couple of minutes.

    26. If it wasn’t for the tax scandal he’d still have that jet.

      If he wanted us to all eat plant based, he’d make the food at his only restaurant more affordable.

      It just smacks of ‘I’ve had my fun and made my money, now I’m in a position to make changes in my life you all must follow’.

      And I’m a lewis (the driver) fan.

    27. Gavin Campbell
      18th October 2019, 17:39

      Well the F1 world championship is quite green – strangely. Other than its ravenous use of energy for wind tunnels, F1 boasts very economical petrol engines. But mostly its because it takes the show to the fans – its a lot greener to pick up 20 cars and 10 teams and take them to Japan than 50,000 odd fans flying to singapore/malaysia/russia etc.

      As a World Championship proper the taking the show to the people is enivronmentally efficient – the often quoted stat about F1 being greener than the Tour de France due to the lack of long distance travel from fans.

      The fuel burnt by racing is only around 0.3% of F1’s greenhouse emmisions – Furthermore Hamilton’s old team, McLaren is Carbon Neutral (by a number of methods). In fact the former head of Greenpeace is a fan of F1 (less so its oil sponsors): https://www.greenpeace.org/archive-international/en/news/Blogs/makingwaves/its-time-to-separate-the-sponsor-from-the-spo/blog/46356/

      If Lewis is serious he should possibly lean on Mercedes to follow McLaren’s example when it comes to his next contract, that should put the brakes on any shouts of hypocrisy.

    28. No one has even hinted at … “When is he going to shave his head .??”
      It’s coming …… baahh dump ….baahh dump (cue the Jaws theme)

      1. He was bald in his 20s, then got hair plugs. Everyone knows this. He is like a kardashian about HIS looks, see all the tattoos, and he loves to show them off in selfies. He is naive.

    29. He needs formula 1 to have that influence, plus as the article mentioned he loves racing.
      I think he’s going to retire once Mercedes isn’t dominant and if he can’t land a Ferrari seat (not sure about the Ferrari part).

    30. From a human point if view, if Hamilton leaves f1 and switches to fe, I will love him for it, he will set a better ‘human’ achievement than any previous f1 chamipions did. But I don’t think Lewis is smart enough, he is too naieve. He is talking the talk on environment, but not walking the walk., cos he still has the race driver ego

    31. Things that add carbon to the environment include private jets, supercars, fashion labels, schmoozing, magazines, music, social media. Pretty much everything really.

      1. Considering that everything is environment, then nothing adds carbon to it. It merely transform it from one form to the next :P

        Coal is probably the greenest of all. We dig up the dirty black coal from the environment, burn it so it becomes a gas, and then nature will turn it into beautiful green trees, colourful plants, etc.
        Maybe we should burn more of it.

    32. There is nothing wrong with questioning what we are doing to this planet. There are many contidictions, I am a gardener who has worked in conservation yet I use 50 litres of diesel a week. That doesnt mean I don’t care, I try to do better in other areas of life. Nothing we do is perfect, i have started buying oranges to juice at hole rather than buying plastic bottles of juice, i know its not perfect as the oranges are shipped but at least its one plastic bottle less.
      Just let Lewis be his own person.

      1. Home, not hole.

        1. You can squeeze those oranges wherever you want ;)

    33. Bet he wanna beat Schumi records, then maybe he could lose the interest

    34. Why would he think about retiring hes one of if not the best driver on the grid. He is better then all the other drivers in a top team. He has a chance to break records doubt we will see him leave

    35. The manufacturers involved stand for circa 20% of global car production. As long as F1 does not install (a third time) a fully nonsensical engine-freeze, progress in efficiency justifies all these remarkable resources invested.

      1. No not really. E-bike growth is massive in Europe and they’ve already reached ‘peak-car’ . Owning a car is ‘nonsense’ for many people.

    36. Let Hamilton do whatever he wants do do. Do I like him? No…..but If all his choices make him sleep better at night, then so be it. Even after selling the Jet, He’ll have to fly to those Races somehow……
      He tries to inspire others to follow him and there is nothing wrong with that. But at the moment, the world is not ready to change and turn things around when it comes to the environment.
      Maybe he’ll use his millions to help clean up the ocean.
      It’s his life, his money, his choice.

    37. He’s still driving around his supercars, don’t worry.

      (Hamilton controls every aspect of what he shows of himself, of what he says and of how he presents himself, trying to calculate the perception people have of him. He’s not spontaneous even when he’s trying to look like he is: he’s just trying to seem like the best, most generous, coolest kid in the block. Some people recognize the farse -and the ocasional cracks in the mask- and that’s why many people dislike him.)

      1. This does seem to be true. Narcissism is on the rise. Lewis was always well spoken and polite. That should have been enough.

    38. first of all, i want to make very clear i’m not an Hamilton fan :) and as other people mentioned here above before:”mr. Hamilton, practice what you preach!”

      on second thought its way to easy to judge him or other “known” people who openly question their/our bad habits and thus make themselves and their behavior vulnerable as well.

      in my case im more then happy ;) to talk to other people about our bad plastic addiction. being honest here, I still buy lotsa plastic wrapped products.. worst of it all: i freaking love Formula 1 :)

      We are all not perfect, though awareness is the first step. Him using the media to bring up this matter takes a lot of guts..

      So much respect to Hamilton for speaking in public about this.. he definitely scored some fan points here :)

    39. He has a fantastic platform to highlight environmental concerns which obviously extend far beyond climate change and carbon emissions. Unfortunately for many environmentalists, people find it too hard to actually engage with the issue and instead attack the person (continually pointing out Lewis’ hypocrisy is a prime example!). If only a small proportion of Hamilton’s fans listened to his message and engaged in environmental works such as organised planting and litter collection or reduced their meat consumption or thought about reducing their carbon footprint, it would actually make a pretty big difference. Sadly a lot of people put changing their ways in the too hard basket or feel that they can’t make a difference and so don’t bother.

      1. fully agreed and approved !

      2. @tommy-c

        The issue is way too complex for Lewis to understand or deal with. It’s way too complex than his fans/audience or westerners just not eating meat and picking up litter could solve.

        If F1 fuel came from meat it’s pretty obvious Lewis would keep tight lipped. As decent person he is, he’s either misguided or being controlled by someone else’s agenda like Greta Thunberg.

        How about he asks us to work local and stop buying Mercedes and buy for a German example, Hai-Bikes instead?

    40. If only all of us had one non-eco passion to fulfill and besides we cared about the environment, the Earth would have been so much better place. Most people emit more crap by everyday living than this guy by racing.

      1. Brazilians? Chinese? Russians? Who’s going to have a word with them? Europe used to be mostly forest. Go back far enough the climate was tropical.

    41. Except vegan burgers and footwear have a higher carbon footprint than their regular counterparts. It is a trend not a real effort.

    42. I think F1 has not so big environmental footprint, compared to the joy and excitement it can bring to fans.
      Twentysome cars, 4000 liters of fuel per race, and quite a lot of tyres, thats nothing compared to the whole business and to the world’s scale. That amount of fuel is nothing for a passanger aircraft.
      Fuel or tyres should not be a concern as only a few guys and teams make it to this level, and a successful guy like Hamilton should know it.
      The biggest part of the footprint is the insane developmental cost, maybe that’s bothering him.
      This is the only section of F1 where cost should be capped, but it’s not gonna happen due to the direction the world heading towards.
      If a super engineers like Ross Brawn could easily solve F1’s problems those would not exist by this time.
      If you restrict top series, then you should restrict minor series too.
      Nothing lasts forever, we know so little, and we forget that the world and the universe is way bigger than we expect, anything can happen, anytime.

    43. You are free to leave, Lew. Now. No need to wait for the end of the season.

    44. You can still care for the environment and drive a car, what’s the point in living without some fun? Removing F1 from the World isn’t going to save it, and actually, road cycling as a sport is very harmful for the environment. We can’t ban everything, but we can make it better.

    45. Hmmm, interesting jblank. so I have a 6.6kw on-grid system ($3,850) & an off-grid 6.6kw with 6kwh battery storage ($9.5k). Picked up another 14kwh battery storage at auction for $2k. Power bills are down from $550/month to <$100/qtr.

      Break even at this rate is 3-4 years & $6k/year in pocket thereafter at present power prices. Yup, renewables are just too costly.

      1. So condraticting that the champion of petrol cars is putting down the sport. Shame. I don’t think Liberty will take it understandingly.

        He won’t give up f1 and the winning and the big cash.

        He definitely won’t join FE to be racing in a series partially owned by a certain Nico Rosberg.

        1. still missing the point Saffa. It starts with individuals at home. He speaks to billions in their homes.

          1. @rich156

            After we chopped down our Forests, why shouldn’t the Brazilians do the same?
            So let’s get this right. Westerners want to continue economic growth and very comfortable lifestyles, but growing economies following in our footsteps need to listen to Lewis?

            Asking the world’s 1.8 billion Muslims and 1.4 million Chinese to give up meat is clutching at straws.

            Add those numbers up and just accept Humans are either doomed, or will survive disasters and climate changes like we always do.

            1. 1.4 billion chinese

    46. So we can’t be Environmentalists coz we’re F1 Fans???

      Not sure what the writer’s point here is

      1. Changes can only really be made by hitting people in the pocket. The money in F1 is not green even if the engineers do a good job of building and racing the cars with increasingly less impact.

        I doubt you’ll see your average environmentalist frequenting Mercedes and Renault car showrooms just for starters.

    47. F1 is carbon neutral and has been since the previous millennium. Including all global travel shipments.
      Once the technology trickle down, construction, and everything else are accounted for F1 is actually carbon-negative (meaning that it is actually beneficial to the environment).

      As far as I am aware only McLaren are fully carbon neutral in terms of car construction, but F1 overall is one of the most environmentally beneficial activities that anyone can be engaged in.
      F1 is the only idealogically and ecologically sound sport that exists right now, not just in terms of carbon, but also water, human lives, and more. Anyone who tries to tell you otherwise is either ignorant of how F1 has worked for over twenty years, or has some other agenda.

      1. That’s not quite the whole truth is it.
        Where does the money for F1 come from? Yes the increasing global population buying the sh$t that is transported to us in heavy oil transportation.
        Dirty money ultimately. Like most things.
        There would be no money in F1 sponsors encouraging us to eat seasonal food and buying locally produced foods and goods.

    48. Always a Hamilton family fan , he is right to say his thoughts and beliefs but ! He does have to bring it forward in a softer approach for sure he will get hit for this . Good on him but if you read this chill out a bit .

    49. I hope that …. we find a way to make Hydrogen the future for internal combustion engines. (Evidence suggests that the lifetime impact of EV’s is worse for the environment than petrol/diesel fuelled cars).

      1. Only because the power infrastructure is generally poor. Thorium would be a nice alternative– we have tons of it, no emissions, can’t go critical, and requires much less shielding than traditional reactors. Renewable power sources are good as well.

        1. Never heard of Thorium (I’ll look it up) Hydrogen seems like a good option, but electric causes way too much pollution in its production and disposing of the batteries is becoming a problem.

    50. But the cars *are* very efficient, which means they’re almost certainly low polluters as well. And sure, the F1 circus is, in theory, contributing to global warming, but nowhere near the level the last boatload of iPhones that crossed the Pacific are (said container ships, while burning “bunker fuel”, rather than dumping their emissions into the air, are now apparently dumping it into the ocean– which is slightly better able to handle the carbon load, but only slightly).

      Hamilton quitting racing would be an example of cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face, as the old saying goes– the benefit to the planet is nothing compared to him remaining in the public spotlight, and expressing his opinions.

      Hamilton is in a position where millions of people will hear what he has to say– and some of them won’t like it, but they’ll listen. And some will listen, and think about it, and maybe they’ll ask why we aren’t working harder to solve these problems.

      20th October 2019, 9:45

      Sustainability has three aspects, social, economic and environmental.
      Whilst F1 clearly isn’t good for the environment in isolation .. the improvements in road cars do more than mitigate their impacts whilst racing,and the joy it brings to fans around the world helps their social impacts.
      It’s all a balance.

    52. Don’t care what he does in his spare time. I watch him on the track and that’s it.

    53. Lewis seems to have got in with the wrong crowd.
      He was already a polite and reasonably considerate person. That was enough. The climate has always changed. Yes we need to be cleaner and tidier. The Bees dying out is vital, and comes from pesticide use to support an increasing population.
      Come on Lewis. Become an activist for the sterilization of 50% of humans. That’s what’s really needed.

    54. I wonder how Lewis feels about corporate America being controlled by the Chinese?
      Westerners often have to keep their mouths shut over China’s breaches of Human rights scared they’re going to lose some dollars. We’ve also seen F1 take the money before caring about Human rights in countries it races in.
      Let’s get some perspective.


    55. This is just media being media I suspect.

      Ending your career because it consumes to much resources… that’s the dumbest reason I have ever heard. He should stop smoking weed or whatever he is taking, eat one of his tasty vegan burgers and get back in the car.

      I bet Schumacher did not think about air pollution when he was on cusp of his 6th world title?

      If he really wants to make a statement he should finish with F1 and race Formula E and dominate there.

    56. Cipriano Mauricio
      21st October 2019, 8:16

      A man with a conscience. I was never a real fan of him. He has changed my mind. He is a leader, a change agent. Hopefully he will use his position and notoriety to spread the message. Good on you Lewis!

    57. So I guess Lewis will give up his jet and sell some of his homes !!!

    Comments are closed.