Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, 2020

“You could’ve saved thousands of lives”: Hamilton appalled by British government’s pandemic reaction

2020 F1 season

Posted on

| Written by

Lewis Hamilton has strongly criticised the British government over its handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a social media post, Hamilton said: “I’m appalled at the UK government on how they have handled Covid[-19].”

Britain’s government has today introduced new restrictions which will impose a two-week quarantine on arrivals to the country from abroad. However F1 will be granted exceptions which will allow its planned two races at Silverstone to go ahead.

“You should have closed the boarders [sic] two months ago,” said Hamilton. “How you can let people fly in from countries without being tested is baffling.

“You could have saved thousands of lives. We need better leaders!”

Britain has one of the highest official death rates due to the pandemic. Yesterday’s World Health Organization situation report stated 40,465 have died from Covid-19. Only America has seen more fatalities, 109,038 having lost their lives, though its population is much higher.

British prime minister Boris Johnson, who came to power in December, contracted Covid-19 in March. He made a recovery following a three-day spell in intensive care.

Hamilton also praised the actions of protesters in Bristol who tore down a statue of slave trader Edward Colston.

“If those people hadn’t taken down that statue, honouring a racist slave trader, it would never have been removed,” he said.

“There’s talks of it going into a museum. That man’s statue should stay in the river just like the 20 thousand African souls who died on the journey here and thrown into the sea, with no burial or memorial.

“He stole them from their families, country and he must not be celebrated! It should be replaced with a memorial for all those he sold, all those that lost their lives!”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2020 F1 season

Browse all 2020 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.

191 comments on ““You could’ve saved thousands of lives”: Hamilton appalled by British government’s pandemic reaction”

  1. This isn’t F1 news. If he wants to step up and get involved in elected politics that’s cool. Carlos Reutemann did it. By all means get involved. But whilst he’s entitled to an opinion, frankly I’m not interested in getting my update on COVID from Lewis Hamilton.

    1. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
      8th June 2020, 12:40

      I don’t think there is any doubt it could have been handled better, but as with all things in life, when it comes to the unknown, lessons are learned the had way. F1 examples anyone?

      1. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
        8th June 2020, 12:41

        * the hard way – although I still haven’t learned to reread my post before clicking the button.

      2. Imola 1994 springs to mind.

        1. Suzuka 2014

        2. Now that’s funny.

      3. @sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk Nothing unknown about the spread of viruses there are hundreds of yrs of information. All of the major powers have multiple departments whos charter includes the ability/necessity to identify and track outbreaks of disease around the world.

    2. @cduk_mugello I don’t agree (obviously!)

      First, there’s the substance of Hamilton’s complaint. He’s criticising them over a policy which has implications for F1’s races in Britain and the seven teams based there. It may also have practical implications for him as a driver as I believe he’s outside the UK at the moment, though presumably the exemptions being put in place, full details of which we don’t have yet, will allow him to come into the country to race.

      But secondly, there’s the wider matter of drivers choosing to involve themselves in political matters. They often prefer not to, but it seems times are changing. The response to the Black Lives Matter movement is the most obvious example of this. But we’ve seen others, such as Sergio Perez dropping one of his sponsors a few years back.

      1. And thirdly, visitors don’t have to read and comment on these articles.
        The title made it clear enough that this article wasn’t the sport in general but about the wider views of a driver.

      2. Okay, so where’s Lewis article about worldwide removal of statue of slave owner? More than 1,200 public health experts said that protesting the issues of “white supremacy” was more important than risk becoming ill with the virus.

        1. @ruliemaulana

          Okay, so where’s Lewis article about worldwide removal of statue of slave owner?

          You just commented on it.

          1. I think he meant to comment on the health impact of so many people congregating.
            Not passing judgement on the protests, but wasnt this kind of event the lockdown/social distancing were expected to prevent? Wasnt a soccer match in Italy a superspreader event?
            If those protests werent the trigger for the second wave, then the lockdown/social distancing might not be that necessary.

          2. @keithcollantine Oh. I hate when more important things didn’t make it as the headline.
            Just like @Gusmaia said. Covid was not really that dangerous. NY had record of only 1% positive after riot/looting days. Let’s talk more about slavery.

          3. geoffgroom44 (@)
            9th June 2020, 13:08


          1. This.

        2. @ruliemaulana Have to say Lewis has a point here. Criticizing how a government handled a crisis that potentially can affect everyone is anyone’s right. However, it kinda clashes with his vocal support for the BLM and all the spinoffs surrounding that event. Don’t be so quick to say it’s all good, as Covid takes time to flare up. We should have learned this by now.

        3. @ruliemaulana looks like someone didn’t actually read the article 🙄

      3. Well said Keith. This is an occasion where we must all speak up or else be complicit in perpetuating injustice. LH has stuck his neck above the parapet and should be cheered for doing so. Talk about dropping the ball. The British government has been dreadful from the start of the pandemic – the worst in the world, possibly excepting the US. Thousands of lives have been needlessly lost, a disproportionate number of them black and minority ethnic. At the very moment when global consciousness of systemic racism is finally gaining traction, it is quite right that the Johnson administration – which is denying Britain is racist! – is put under pressure. Some of them should go to jail.

        With respect to F1, it may well be that in this climate of political sensitivity, iniquities in places like Saudi Arabia and Bahrain will cause Liberty to think again about where F1 goes. Not before time too.

    3. I agree. Hamilton has lost my support, not because he has opinions but that he is using his fame to make a political attack.

      Historically the triangular slave trade was awful, but not one sided. African leaders sold slaves to the European and Arab slave traders. Those African leaders went to war to obtain more slaves, no doubt egged on by the slave traders. But complicity is culpable. When will Hamilton condemn those African kings and tribal leaders who made the slave trade possible and profitable?

      1. That is a great misconception and myth that has been perpetuated by the whitewashing of history. Saying Africans sold themselves to British slavers is factually incorrect. Slavery existed at a much smaller scale in Africa (just as in Europe between warring sides) from the selling of POWs in tribal wars. When the British and the west in general came to Africa they instituted mass slavery across tribes and regions and as such the Africans resisted this with wars against the slavers and colonizers. Please get your facts right and try to educate yourself on the matter. Also it is quite interesting reading

        1. OK, you’ve made some assertions there Nziza, do you have some references that we can read for ourselves?

          1. He’s using the common phenomena where you disagree with someone with confidence and by assuming you don’t need references when being on the disagreeing side of things. Simply saying ”Get your facts straight” seems to be enough for a lot of people reading both comments to think, ”oh, he’s saying the first guy’s wrong. He seems to know stuff.”

        2. @Nziza Bgoya

          That is false. The Europeans never went far inland at that time, but stuck to their coastal forts. About 90% of slaves were ‘created’ by Africans, not Europeans. It was actually a system with various tribes having their specializations. Tribes like the Imbangala and Nyamwezi would make war and capture people, which they sold on to trader tribes, like the Ashanti and Yoruba.

          The reason why Dr. David Livingstone and Henry Morton Stanley got so famous was that they actually went inland, to places never visited before by Europeans. This was decades after Britain abolished the slave trade.

          I understand that the idea that African elites and certain tribes profited from the transatlantic slave trade undermines the unfortunately very common (literally black and white) view, but they are the scientific facts, how unpalatable they may be to some.

          1. @ Aapje

            Please tell us where these African tribes and ‘elites’ are that profited with enormous generational wealth from the slave trade in the way Europe and the US did? Where are they?

          2. @Mr Lance

            That’s a silly gotcha question that shows that you fail to understand the effects of the agricultural & industrial revolution (hint: those created an unprecedented economic growth, way beyond the relatively marginal incomes from the slave trade and slavery), as well as the effects of colonialism.

            By your argument, American slave holders didn’t profit either, because the current American elites are largely coastal elites, not southern descendants from slave holders that have enormous generational wealth.

          3. @Mr Lance

            To expand a little on that: generational wealth is not the inevitable result of having a good temporary income. It requires investment opportunities (that actually are good investments), an entrepreneurial spirit/culture, a lack of heavily disruptive events, institutions that protect wealth (and thus encourage saving rather than spending), etc, etc.

          4. @aapje your argument is different from what I am saying in only that you are looking at it from a problematic angle. As I mentioned slavery existed in Africa just as elsewhere all over the world at a much smaller scale (and with very different rules and regulations if we call them that) between tribes and regions, the scale and utter destruction that the trans- Atlantic slavery and European slavery brought however was unprecedented and was perpetuated by Europeans. The slavery exercise evolved into something never seen before. The trade in arms in exchange for slaves forced tribes and different warring sides to join slavery as matter of protection and as such became a vicious circle. If you want to use your argument to absolve the participation of Europeans because Africans were involved that is what whitewashing of Black History means, twisting history to fit the narrative you want. Africans did not benefit from Slavery the way you’d like to put it. Guns don’t grow wealth but human beings working for free for 400+ years builds enormous wealth which you can diversify into other areas and call it industrialization. In modern times we’d call it “Money laundering”. @frasier you don’t have to search far and wide for the truth but you can start here and do some research for yourself https://youtu.be/3NXC4Q_4JVg

          5. @v8boss

            European/American plantations had a greater need of slaves, but the African tribes chose to meet that need, just like Western traders did. I don’t see how you can condemn the latter, but not the former, unless you apply a double standard.

            There is nothing moral about having limited slavery not because of disapproval of the practice, but because you have no use for more slaves yourself or more buyers for more slaves. It’s ridiculous to defend certain African tribes for the part they played because they got weapons and wealth they could use to further oppress other tribes.

            If slave plantations were so profitable, the richest regions would be the plantation regions where slavery was practiced for much longer, rather than the industrial regions, as is actually the case. If diversification worked as you claimed it did, the south of the US would have become industrial much more than the north, but the opposite is true. Your narrative simply doesn’t match the observed facts.

            PS. I’m not pointing to African involvement to whitewash anything, but because I object to double standards that dehumanize everyone. Africans are dehumanized as mindless automatons with no ability to make their own choices, while all the achievements of Western people are dismissed as deriving from oppression.

          6. @aapje this is not about discrediting achievements of Europeans/White Americans this is about acknowledging that Slavery has had a negative and lasting impact to the present African American/European society and as Lewis pointed out monuments of people with ties to the trade and oppression should not be displayed as they are insensitive.

            You have insisted on the example of South vs North U.S economies as a show that Slavery did not really benefit the South, again warped argument because of your problematic angle. The South chose oppression and racism and could not see that the times had changed, instead of embracing change and technology ( Economics 101) they chose hate and eventually went to war over it. The war was not cheap and kind especially to the losing side.

            Looking at your argument I get the feeling that it is more important for you to defend the humanity of the Europeans/Americans Slavers ( hence you using the word dehumanize) and discredit the valid fact that American and European industries were built on the backs of slaves. Why is that? Why do you feel the need to defend them? How can you justify your argument that Africans benefitted from slavery when the act itself was directly very destructive to their industry and society? This is like saying the South Americans are to blame and we should not condemn the US demand for Narcotics because the drug lords have made a lot of money out of it. (Different topic but just to put things in perspective) the Narco trade has devastated south America socially and economically than its rich neighbor the US who has an expensive Cocaine habit. The African kings/chiefs are the Narcotic warlords in this example who came in to fill their pockets but also to protect their people. If your tormenter forces you to kill a fellow prisoner for you to survive I am sure you don’t have a very clear answer to that right now. I could go on with these examples all day.

            Whether you like it or not, America would not be what it is now without the centuries of slave labour. That is a fact and accepting that does not discredit the achievements of Europeans in other fields. If you see it that way then that is what systemic racism is. Change your mindset and put yourself in the shoes of the slaves and their descendants and your perspective will change

          7. @v8boss

            It’s not about defending anyone, but about the truth. That matters to actually be able to improve things. If black people get told that they don’t have much opportunity and face constant racism, there is a large risk that:
            – they don’t even try
            – they ignore their own faults or cultural problems in favor of blaming white people (there is a strong tendency for people to ignore their own faults and blame others in general and the narrative that racism is enormously powerful feeds it far too much)
            – they feel justified in being unfair to others in retaliation (see the looting as an example)
            – they demand handouts/support that can be very harmful to their ability to achieve things on actual merit

            As a result of the false narrative, we see all kinds of interventions that cannot work, but that people don’t realize can’t work, because of the lies they’ve been told. If the only goal is to make white people feel bad, that may not matter, but if you actually want to improve the lives of black people, it helps to start with the facts, rather than vilify those and prefer false dogma.

          8. @aapje

            I have never written so much on social media before, however shying away from discussion is the major problem we are facing as human beings on our earth at the moment. I have therefore taken time to respond in detail.

            African Americans/Europeans are not “told” that they do not have much opportunity. They really do not have the same equal opportunities as their White counterparts. Just look at the Jim Crow laws in the late 18th and early 19th century, it is undeniable. When banks will not lend to blacks and when entire cities are planned based on race etc etc, it manifests into poverty and other challenges, some of which are unemployment and crime, which then lead to black on black crime ( as a lot of people like to point out, when the issue of police brutality is raised) and obviously which leads to higher rates of incarceration among the black community. This is the systemic racism that still exists today. And this is not to say that things haven’t gotten better with time, but more needs to be done to ensure that everyone gets an equal chance at the table.
            The points you have raise above are soundbites that keep coming up when defending systemic racism, that blacks and other people of colour are either stupid or lazy at best. I will mention below where these soundbites come from and also answer each of your point above.

            To justify slavery in Christian society black people had to be seen as less than human, therefore the laws were changed to reflect exactly this that black people are 3/5th human and therefore dumb brutes who exist at the mercy of the white man and as such need to be owned and colonized. This has established bias on both sides that black people are inherently stupid/lazy.

            Your points above:
            – they don’t even try: This is the lazy narrative, that Blacks are poor because they are lazy, however, racist laws that created mass unemployment and crime are ignored, even though these lazy people worked hard in the sun and toiled under the hardest of conditions for four centuries for no pay

            – they ignore their own faults or cultural problems in favor of blaming white people: This is the black on black crime and lazy narrative mixed into one. same response as above point.

            – they feel justified in being unfair to others in retaliation (see the looting as an example): It is unfathomable that black people can loot and trash something that is so beneficial to white people, however have you tried to maybe see that the shops and establishments they are looting are to a large extent not representative of blacks. Africa was looted and bled and it still is to this day but looting shops for 3 days is an abomination. These are mostly young and frustrated kids, whether its in France, New York or Libya they will revolt against injustice. Fix the system so that they are represented and trust me no one will loot.

            – they demand handouts/support that can be very harmful to their ability to achieve things on actual merit: Affirmative action is what you are referring to here. If you started
            a 100 m race 3 seconds behind me trust me you will not win that race or catch me. All the lost time and damages to the black communities will not disappear by hard work and get off your butt comments. If you wanna call it handouts that is a problem and you need to check where that is coming from within yourself

            This debate is necessary and is not meant to make white people feel bad. What happened in the past is not the present generation’s fault, however, understanding that black people are demanding an equal sit at the table shouldn’t infuriate you or anyone. Black people are demanding equality and that is what Lewis is talking about as a black man first and a driver second.

            And by the way Lewis did not write this post, he spoke-out at his capacity as a human being. The editor of this site saw the news as relevant and decided to share it. There is no law to the effect that Motorsports sites should not talk about current social-political matters.

          9. @v8boss

            Jim Crow laws have been abolished. You cannot use them as evidence of “systemic racism that still exists today.” This kind of equivocation of historic with current discrimination is truly endemic and makes it almost impossible to discuss this issue.

            There are more poor white people than poor black people and a lot of Asian and Hispanic migrants start(ed) off with less income than Black Americans. Yet those groups are less prone to crime. Asian and Hispanic migrants also improve their incomes a lot faster than black Americans. Recent African migrants do way better than African-Americans, even though their capital tends to be fairly minimal.

            The narrative that poverty always leads to internecine crime, which becomes self-perpetuating, doesn’t explain why other poor groups didn’t fall into this. It also clashes with the claim that police violence is the problem.

            > even though these lazy people worked hard in the sun and toiled under the hardest of conditions for four centuries for no pay

            Contemporaries and historians tend to agree that slave productivity was actually very low. In some experiments at the time, slaves were closely supervised and picked 2-3 times as much as they did normally, suggesting that they weren’t working that hard. Of course, this is exactly what you’d expect if you don’t reward people for putting in effort: they do as little as they can get away with.

            In general, there are pretty clear differences in study and work ethic between ethnic groups. For example, East Asians are known for studying and working very hard & they have outcompeted white people in the US (despite anti-Asian racism). Jews have also outcompeted gentiles, despite anti-semitic discrimination.

            There is also the issue that black identity can include a rejection of ‘acting white,’ where education and other middle class behaviors are seen as being contrary to a black identity. So black people can bully each other into failing.

            Of course, you may consider the idea that different ethnic groups (and subcultures with ethnic groups) have different study and work ethics to be an unacceptable claim, but what you consider a pleasant opinion is not the same as the truth.

            > It is unfathomable that black people can loot and trash something that is so beneficial to white people, however have you tried to maybe see that the shops and establishments they are looting are to a large extent not representative of blacks.

            These are mostly shops in their own neighborhoods, with mostly black and Asian owners. White people largely aren’t harmed by this.

            > Africa was looted and bled and it still is to this day but looting shops for 3 days is an abomination.

            Excusing crime is not a good look.

            > The points you have raise above are soundbites that keep coming up when defending systemic racism

            This is exactly the problem with the debate. I point out flaws in your logic & claims and instead of assuming that I want the best for black people, but don’t believe that systemic racism exists to the extent that you believe it does and/or in the ways you do, you accuse me of defending systemic racism.

            This is uncharitable and frankly insulting. You dehumanize me by calling me a racist for disagreeing with you on what the facts are. The logical conclusion is that when you talk about fighting systemic racism, you will go after me, for ‘defending systemic racism’. Note that I did nothing but disagree with your narrative.

            > This debate is necessary and is not meant to make white people feel bad.

            Well, calling me a racist makes me feel that this is a disingenuous claim.

            > understanding that black people are demanding an equal sit at the table shouldn’t infuriate you or anyone. Black people are demanding equality

            Obama was president, so black people were not at the table, but in charge. The highest office in the US is clearly attainable to black people. If systemic racism was so strong a force, how would this be possible?

            Frankly, I see a lot of demands for equal outcomes without a willingness to behave equally to those whose outcomes you want. That’s not going to work.

      2. Never, because ignorance is a bliss.

        1. You mean like he has through his work with Save the Children and Education Africa? Or how he has also called out leaders both in Brazil and India for the way they treat their disadvantaged for example? Or the many times he has discussed these issues as guest speaker at various BLM type forums and seminars?

          Yea, ignorance is bliss.

        1. You’re going to be busy posting that link.

      3. yes but while a few african nobleman/kings benefitted, huge population of western countries benefitted from slavery.

        1. How did they benefit? At the time, the overwhelming majority of Europeans were small farmers, who didn’t use slaves, nor did they invest in the EIC or the VOC. There was no meaningful level of democracy and the government primarily served the nobility.

      4. This has to be the dumbest take I have come across, are these leaders celebrated in Africa with monuments or were they not castigated?

        Slavers were paid to let slaves go after the abolition of slave trade, descendants of slaves as taxpayers in the UK helped pay back this loan that was taken out by the UK government that was just paid of in 2015.

    4. And you’re entitled to express your opinion that you don’t care for his opinion. And you’re also entitled not to read things that don’t interest you.

    5. @cduk_mugello You saw the title, you didn’t need to read the article.

      Keep going, @keithcollantine; you’re doing good.

    6. I think looking in hindsight a lot of things could be handled differently (across the globe) so LH is fully right. That said: why did he fly to Australia in March? Contractual obligations surely, but if you think it’s a bad idea to travel across the world to have a mass event then contractual obligations shouldn’t persuade one to take alternative action (or not take action at all in this case).

      1. Because everyone inc the government said it wasnt an issue. And when he got there (early as he was involved in the animal rescue efforts if you recall) he was the first one to publicly call out those very people. The lone voice at the time.

        1. As of that moment, he knew the Australian government’s stance on the virus, and that of F1.
          Why did he not state that the UK should lockdown right then? He seems to know more about the virus than the government and it’s health workers know.
          New Zealand went into lockdown almost immediately and have just lifted ALL restrictions as they no longer have any active cases.
          Australia followed NZ and several states have seen zero infections for weeks.

          Hamilton telling his followers what should have happened does nothing to help. Since he thinks he has all the answers, why doesn’t he just run for a political position? He can help a lot more people and make a bigger difference that way.

          Jumping on the latest popular trend is exactly what you expect from an attention seeking teenager – not someone who wishes to be seen as a leader of change.

          1. Which trend is he jumping on? He’s been involved in childrens issues worldwide, black issues, medical through cancer, GOSH, Invictus, etc, education, inner city deprivation, animal welfare, homelessness, and so on through various charities for over a decade.
            And he should give all that up to become a politician? You don’t need to become a politician to be political. Or make a difference.
            I stand to be corrected, but when F1 did a runner before the Aus/NZ shutters came down, I’m sure Ham stayed there in lockdown.

    7. geoffgroom44 (@)
      9th June 2020, 9:44

      so don’t bother reading it or commenting upon it,huh?

  2. So not interested in what another person’s views are on the UK Government. “Celebrity” or not, lets stick to the F1 news shall we?

    1. You don’t have to read the article you know.

      1. Ah yes, the good old famous ‘you don’t have to read the article’ fallacy.

        1. Can you show how the comment is a fallacy? It is very simple to me, if you don’t want to hear about politics from celebrities then don’t read their political stuff. Simple

        2. @montalvo by what measure is it a fallacy? Anonymous Dave literally didn’t have to read the article, just as you didn’t need to comment.

          1. John Toad (@)
            8th June 2020, 16:40

            I come here to read F1 news not opinions on politics.
            Lewis is famous, I get that, but should we pay more attention, or give more weight, to his views because of that?

          2. petebaldwin (@)
            8th June 2020, 16:51

            @ceevee – You are giving more attention and weight to his thoughts on politics. You’re here talking about them whereas if he wasn’t famous, you wouldn’t be.

            There was no clickbait headline – you knew EXACTLY what you were clicking on.

          3. William Jones
            8th June 2020, 18:20

            @optimaximal – It could be a ‘Denying the Antecedent’ fallacy, though only on the assumption that some people have an addictive compulsion to real all the articles on a website – which I think is probably a real mental health condition.

            Whether, under those circumstances, there is a cause to complain about articles the person with the compulsion is not interested in is an entire other thing, and I think we can all see the problem if you have two people with the compulsion and neither is interested in what the other is only interested in, so the conclusion surely has to be to ignore those with that compulsion who complain.

      2. geoffgroom44 (@)
        9th June 2020, 9:45

        right on

    2. @ Dave
      For non F1 related articles, esp. ones with LH in them, ALWAYS gather a high number of comments compared to F1 related comments. I wonder why.

    3. Totally agree. I’m sure the site gets more clicks for this crap than from an actual F1 story though so it will continue. I’m out. Tired of the begging anyways.

  3. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    8th June 2020, 12:57

    I really don’t like Hamilton but he’s right. How can the UK government be proud of how they acted during this pandemic when we have the worst deaths in Europe? In the least some acceptance that things could have been handled better would be nice but being outright ‘proud’ of some 40k dead is ghoulish.

    As for the statue, its a representation of a man that made his money by selling other men – which is pretty ghastly by today’s standards despite his apparent philanthropy. Put it in a museum, educate people on it, but putting it on display? I’m more confused why it took so long for it to be removed.

    As for Hamilton commenting on political or social issues, well he’s human like the rest of us so he’s fully allowed to do so and as he’s got a significant platform to use his voice to help or bring attention to others then good for him to use it. It’s pretty obvious why we’re reading it on an F1 website too, given he’s one of the most popular and successful F1 drivers in history.

      1. geoffgroom44 (@)
        9th June 2020, 13:14


    1. Seconded. Well said.

    2. @rocketpanda


      side note: you don’t need to state your dislike for Lewis anytime you find yourself agreeing with his opinion. Say it with your chest.

      1. Adam (@rocketpanda)
        8th June 2020, 14:32

        Lol from an F1 perspective I’m not fond of him or Mercedes, but as a person I think he’s got his heart in the right place at least. Do forgive my sour fan side!

        1. @rocketpanda I too agree your comment is well said. LH is exactly right that the UK should have shut down the border two months ago. That’s what we did here in Canada. Not that you couldn’t enter the country, but if you did we insisted that you go straight from the airport or the border crossing to home to self isolate for 14 days. No running errands first. Go straight home.

    3. I’ll agree as well, a great comment @rocketpanda. No need to state your dislike of the driver, it’s not important here.

      I particularly agree with educating people about the issue. You cannot bury bad history, as you run the risk of it repeating in future. “Leaving it at the bottom of the lake” is obviously an emotional response from Lewis (although understandable in the current turmoil). It’s correct that figures like this are no longer celebrated.

      The “stick to racing people” are free to stick to racing as far as I’m concerned. It’s a term used to surpress others views they dislike – the opposite of debate and democracy.

    4. You’ve summed it up well.

    5. geoffgroom44 (@)
      9th June 2020, 9:47

      agreed.and why all this fuss over a statue it took Bristol 174 years after the man’s death to erect? I was also very suprised to learn that in Bristol in the 60’s persons of ‘colour’ were not allowed to have a job driving buses.In the free atmosphere of the 60’s,summer of love and all that.

    6. tony mansell
      9th June 2020, 16:49

      Gosh if I read one more commenter who says ‘ I don’t like Hamilton….but’ I’ll scream. No one cares if you like him or not but get something straight, you don’t know him, you have no idea about his personality anymore than I know yours. I can make some assumptions about you, how about that? How about you get judged on a soundbite?

  4. Perhaps its better to wait commenting Lewis. Who knows what the outcome of all this will be? We are still very far away from a consensus on how this should be handled, let alone ‘should have been handled’. Its becoming more clear what the consequences are as a result of the measurements taken.. these could even surpass the desease consequences..

    1. It’s clear the UK government has been a joke, waiting an additional week in March and allowing the Cheltenham festival to go ahead. Exponential growth clearly wasn’t taught at Eton. Some of the scientific advisors are now starting to speak out thankfully. Wether this should be debated on the race fans site, I’ll sit on the fence for this one I think, but seen as it’s here I feel like I should comment. At the time I couldn’t believe what was going on, and the fact the quarantine is only coming in now, reflects how awful the Tories have been.

      Anyway, back to the F1!

      1. From what I have seen, the UK government were more listening to their scientific advisors rather than ignoring them. I am yet to be convinced that another government given the same information will have acted differently so I personally am not turning this into a political issue. This is not the same as saying that there is no issue.

        I learnt the hard way that when you have the same (lack of) information, goals and challenges as decision makers that you tend to make the same stupid decisions that you previously criticised and you realise that the least worst decision was made in the first place.

        Whilst not linked to your point, I’m somewhat happy that I can have this conversation on here since trying to have a calm, sane conversation on these topics at the moment on your standard social media platforms is impossible.

        1. +1 indeed!

        2. @chimaera2003 It’s nonsense. Johnson’s government were ‘following the scientific advice’ when it was politically expedient to do so, because the original plan – herd immunity – was proven to be ~10-times worse in the eventual number of deaths. The aim was clearly always been to use the scientists as a barrier against criticism because ‘the science said so’…

          But then the chief political adviser and a number of MPs (from both sides of the house) broke the rules, which riled up the media and violated the trust that the majority of the UK population had in the rules. A few bad front pages and the PM being hauled across the coals in the Commons and suddenly we’re reducing the strictness of the lock-down so that the media reports on the fact we can now have barbecues with distant relatives and drive to Durham to exercise or check our eyesight, rather than that the political class are treating us like fools.

          1. I am not saying that there isn’t a problem, I am just decided that this isn’t a political issue like many people are doing.

            Government were between rock and hard place, they could have locked down earlier but then all the oppostion/media would have done is ask why they didn’t follow their advisors. That isn’t a defence, it is an appreciation of the government/opposition/media dynamic that has existed for a long time.

            Also saying words like ‘proven’ in the past tense implies that this is all over (I am sure that was not your intention). History dictates that this isn’t unless immunity (natural immunity such as the concept you refer or vaccine) is achieved.

          2. @optimaximal

            Johnson’s government were ‘following the scientific advice’ when it was politically expedient to do so, because the original plan – herd immunity – was proven to be ~10-times worse in the eventual number of deaths.


        3. I have a slightly different issue with the handling. The science I was taught didn’t involve obeying canon handed down by appointed experts; rather it involved gathering data, analysing data, putting it up for peer review, refining it and so on. OK, the reality is that politicians hate audit trails and were in a bit of a hurry, but calling the result science is just wrong.

          Some might also say that taking one-way bets based on incomplete data (there was an article over the weekend that confirmed the latter) is a bit rash. Some things have just been plain crazy – dropping testing? Thats epidemiology 101.

          1. Foot to say I love all the so called statistics about who was/was not responsible for slavery, but. Of one substantiated fact. All just opinion or argument in support of personal agenda.
            Can’t comment on British government response. But have to agree that any monument celebrating evil should be torn down and I don’t care which “race” it celebrates.

          2. William Jones
            9th June 2020, 20:37

            @MCG – It’s way late, so forgive me for butting in here to alert you that I gave a good go at answering your question on this thread: https://www.racefans.net/2020/06/02/hamilton-is-discovering-his-potential-to-achieve-another-kind-of-greatness/#comment-4455478

          3. William Jones
            9th June 2020, 20:38

            Ack, and it turns out I can @ you in even without a blue name. Never mind, sorry for the intrusion!

        4. Neil (@neilosjames)
          8th June 2020, 23:07

          @chimaera2003 +1.

          Agree on this, it’s not a political issue. As soon as the advisors pressed for a lockdown, it happened – they shaped that policy, not the politicians. It suits the agenda of some people to try to turn it political, but any party in power would have been advised in the same way.

          I think people perhaps realise they look stupid if they have a go at the actual experts, so they switch over to the politicians who implemented the policy…

          Not that I blame the scientists. No one deserves blame for that particular decision, as there was no single right or wrong call… and we won’t know whether it was a particularly bad call until this is over, anyway.

      2. @john-h the big mistake wasn’t an outdoor event like a race meeting, it was keeping London mass transport going when the excuse for a health leader, the WHO had finally (after 4000 deaths) declared a pandemic on the 11th March. They didn’t of course retract their assurance of 1% non-symptomatic infections declared at the beginning of March.

        Useless puppets of the CCP.

    2. He’s right though. Our UK government handled it badly, very badly. I don’t think this is a secret or a surprise to anyone at this late stage.

  5. Nothing brings out the true nature of some like a good old Lewis Hamilton article. *laughs while getting the popcorn*

    1. geoffgroom44 (@)
      9th June 2020, 9:48


  6. I have no issue with Lewis saying this although I disagree with some of it. For example leaving the statue at the bottom of the harbour and pretending he never existed doesn’t move this the race issue forward.

    What I think he may come to regret is that he has put his head above the parapet and that he is potentially opening himself up to a lot of ‘whatabourery’ claims which may lead to people calling him a hypocrite.

    Also when the mob have exhausted this line of attack and then come after him and ask why he is still working for a company with no BAME people in leadership roles (I am certain this not by design), then what does he do?

    In short, I really hope he has a long term strategy to try and keep the narrative moving the way he wants it to go. If this was all done off the cuff with no further thought then he may have unintentionally boxed himself in with limited ways to further lead on the issues. I hope I am wrong!

    1. geoffgroom44 (@)
      9th June 2020, 9:51

      well we could always erect a plaque at the quayside telling that the statue is in the water….and why it is in the water,huh? I think Lewis makes a superb point about the thousands cast into the water from overloaded slave ships.Ok,it was a different time, with different values, with different moralities…..and that’s the point, we are different than that now and have no need or desire to celebrate or glorify such atrocities. All power to you Lewis, you have ihnited a very meaningful discussion.

  7. Well said Lewis on both counts.

    There is no defence for keeping the statue up – it’s long overdue for removal.

    I fully support Keith/F1fanatic for including such political issues on the side. Sport doesn’t happen in a vacuum.

    1. geoffgroom44 (@)
      9th June 2020, 9:51


  8. ill take Louis Hamilton’s opinion on the UK government seriously if/when he starts becoming a tax resident of said government he is criticizing – as opposes to a nearby famous tax haven that he commutes to and from. I know he does pay taxes in UK but we know he isn’t as patriotic in this as he could be.

    He isn’t the only F1 driver to that of course (British or otherwise). But when you’re criticizing your home government directly on domestic matters it would carry more weight if you’re not a tax exile of said government to begin with and trying to avoid as much of it as you can.

    1. ill take Louis Hamilton’s opinion on

      If you want people to take your opinion seriously it would probably help if you spelt Lewis’s name right *facepalm*

      I know he does pay taxes in UK but we know he isn’t as patriotic in this as he could be

      You could pay more tax and you don’t, why should anyone else pay more than what they owe?

      But when you’re criticizing your home government directly on domestic matters it would carry more weight if you’re not a tax exile

      Nope it doesn’t. People like you just look for any excuse to dismiss what he says.

    2. @yaru
      I’ll bet my lunch that you’ll dodge paying some taxes too if given the means lol. Hate the game not the player.
      Who is Louis anyway?

      1. Hard the take the truth about your idol, right? Fans like you are downright pathetic.

        1. William Jones
          8th June 2020, 18:00

          What truth – you think it’s true that you have to be a resident in a country for your criticism of that country’s government to be valid? Or should we judge the validity of any criticism on the criticism itself, not the person making it?

    3. @yaru So I’m guessing you refused the work salary sacrifice scheme, do not take benefits and pay every penny of tax you owe, right?

    4. geoffgroom44 (@)
      9th June 2020, 9:53

      well,by your argument many leading British politicians with their ‘tax planning schemes’ would also qualify for your condemnation,huh?

  9. Trevor Sworn
    8th June 2020, 13:59

    Lewis, like all armchair warriors, is an expert in hindsight. It’s not that’s he’s right or wrong, but it’s his opinion after the fact. Leadership is making hard decisions and living with them (I’m not pro any political party). Stick to what you’re good at Lewis.

    1. My thoughts exactly, who would want to be Matt Hancock over the past months?

  10. If the government reacted as Lewis wanted his car may have not been ready. I bet his comments will stop once Mercedes starts to feel uncomfortable.

  11. How many thousands of lives will be lost because governments around the world no longer care about social distancing because BLM marches are now deemed far more important? The hypocrisy and double standards are incredible.

    1. Indeed.. +1

  12. Hamilton is perfectly entitled to make political statements, no one should sit back and accept the unacceptable, and to all those people who will say “It doesn’t concern him, he doesn’t live there etc”, it does, he is British and can say as he wishes as is his right. An F1 driver doesn’t just need to stick to driving just like I don’t just have to stick to gardening.

    1. Further more, I don’t recall any of you criticising Pérez for dropping his sunglasses sponser when they made the “perfect to hide your crying eyes” tweet. That was a political matter.

  13. ‘John’, black people aren’t *only* persecuted in the US. It’s just a flash-point in the US because many police forces are effectively paramilitary forces with itchy trigger fingers & white fundamentalists in positions of power.

    1. GtisBetter (@)
      8th June 2020, 15:40

      What is a culture war?

      1. William Jones
        8th June 2020, 18:03

        It’s what we used to call “green ink letters”

    2. petebaldwin (@)
      8th June 2020, 16:57

      So you’re saying to just ignore people asking for racism to stop?

    3. @optimaximal

      “It’s just a flash-point in the US because many police forces are effectively paramilitary forces with itchy trigger fingers & white fundamentalists in positions of power”

      Did you hear that on MSNBC, CNN or any of the many networks fomenting rage, or do you have some actual data to present?

      1. @frasier None of these, because I’m not located in the US.

        Where was my statement wrong?

        1. You need to recognise people are told lies by the media for political purposes, they typically represent their ‘team’ and you only hear half the story. Their mission is to get their viewers/readers angry enough to vote for their team.

          I’ll however try and give you facts not emotion. Here is an analysis of deaths that occurred during US arrests in 2015


          2015 was obviously a few years back, but I doubt the basic pattern has changed, you can check for yourself in the database below.


          I don’t live in the states either, but their politics is more of a show, so I take an interest. For sure Chauvin needs to tried for murder, but he is an outlier as demonstrated by the stats.

    4. @optimaximal

      Good job demonstrating how you’ve been indoctrinated. The actual facts don’t support your claims, though.

      1. @aapje There’s significant evidence of infiltration of police forces by white nationalists, including a report conducted by the FBI dating back nearly 15 years. I could provide more links taken from several well-sourced locations, but to do so would be dragging the debate well off topic.

        1. @optimaximal

          From what I can tell, one far-right group (and most of these groups are tiny) advised its members to infiltrate the police and 3 of 800,000 police officers were identified as white supremacist. That’s not significant evidence.

          As I noted elsewhere, the perpetrators of police violence against Black Americans are disproportionately black police officers, so it simply doesn’t add up to think that it’s white supremacists within the police force doing all this.

          Also, American police is more violent against white people than European police.

  14. Back in the 70’s/80’s I promoted concerts at the Colston Hall Bristol.
    Had no idea that the place was named after a slave trader, guess the bands playing there didn’t either, had they known I doubt they would have played the place, even back then.

  15. All I know is that yesterday we couldn’t have thousands of protesters; many wearing masks, out in the open air because of covid. But today and for 5 days every weeks we can pack 2 million 5 to 11 year olds inside classrooms without to much worry because the government told me thats OK.

    1. F1oSaurus (@)
      8th June 2020, 15:59

      @riptide Young children very rarely get the disease and even if they do they usually don’t show symptoms and therefore don’t spread it so much either. These are statistical facts.

      The damage of keeping children out of school is therefore much greater than simply letting them go to school.

      Science is really not that hard if you look further than Facebook.

      1. And finding out someones talking nonsense; such as yourself, is also easy to check. ‘Children passing it on is difficult to establish given most are asymptomatic’. (RCPCH amongst many others.) As of two weeks ago. And we have yet to get any worthwhile data as almost all studies were carried during lockdown periods. Maybe thats why only a third of primary children are going back and almost none from secondary level? Or are you arguing the government is deliberately damaging the majority of children despite scientific evidence proving there is no issues with children going back? Its a calculated risk, like being outside in a crowd with a mask on.

      2. Your comment makes no sense. Are you really suggesting that if a child has Covid and is asymptomatic, the child cannot spread the virus? This is absurd even on a common sense level. If the stats tracking children’s spreading of the disease is murky because many are asymptomatic, how does this in any way help your conclusion that they don’t spread it much? You’ve basically admitted that we don’t know!

        Also, curbing Covid is supposed to be about protecting OTHER people, the elderly and the physically weakened, from others too, so even if children have a 100% survival rate, they are still carriers who can infect others.

      3. The jury is very much still out on the effects of sars-cov-2 on children, although it doesn’t seem likely (as compared to adults) to cause covid-19. Its suggested PMIS can result, but as its not really contagious, it doesn’t have that much impact on disease control policies.

        Asymptomatic carriers are another matter; it makes it very difficult to track (assuming we ever do manage to get a grip on contract tracing).

        statistical facts

        Is that a new oxymoron?

      4. @f1osaurus Easy for you to say. I work at a school with kids aged 2.5 to 12. We had one infected kid in my grade, me and 6 other teachers got infected. We all made it through without much harm, but one of my colleagues still can’t smell or taste anything, we are more then a month after she got ill. As a sidenote, half of the class of children did get sick. Some just a cold, others flu-like, but they did get sick. We had half a class of 4year-olds sick as well with symptoms.

        Statistics mean nothing at this point, as in most countries, only the hospitalized people get tested. In Belgium, there are like 60000 people infected, yet none of my colleagues or me got tested during or illness, we were al sent home. Only now, when they tested for immunity, we know we had it. One of the kids got tested and was positive as well, because he went to the hospital together with his mom, who was sick as well. There are plenty of examples of schools and daycares closing down because multiple are infected.

        The only thing statistics have shown is that kids infect ‘less’ people. Knowing that an adult, without any rules, infects 3 other adults, that could mean a kid infects 2 or 1.5. That is still more then 1 and thus still keeping a pandemic alive. It’s easy to say it does more damage to not go to school, but there are a lot of people working at schools as well, most of the time without any protection apart from a home-made mask. Apart from that, kids come in way more places then adults, they see about a few 100 kids at school and a lot of teachers, cleaning personell, people who do day-care before and after school. Then they go to sport-teams, playgrounds, … So yeah, it’s important that kids don’t get infected. Even now, whenever a kid coughs or sneezes a few times, we have to isolate them at school and complete classes have to stay in isolation. So far for your statistics.

      5. Young children very rarely get the disease

        Can you provide a source please. I have read a lot further than Facebook but don’t think I’ve seen any evidence of this.

  16. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
    8th June 2020, 15:32

    I don’t know if I’m going to get some hate for saying this, but I think it is the protesters that are setting a terrible example in the situation of covid-19. No matter what they are protesting about, this is the wrong time to do it – (at least the way it is being done). It is going totally against the countries efforts of keeping sensible distances from each other. If I base it on that, these recent protests are just ridiculous, no matter what it is about. Basically anyone who was taking part in these protests is risking their own and others health at the moment and the vast majority of them are ignoring the distancing advice.

    1. It’s the right time but the wrong way like you pointed out. Here in the Netherlands we had some bad organised protests (people not keeping a distance) but also quit a few where people stayed inside their allocated space thus keeping the minimal required distance and wearing facemarks.

    2. Double standards are amazing, aren’t they? People aren’t allowed to protest peacefully for any cause that the politicians deem to be unimportant.

      Peaceful protests should always be allowed in a republic or a democracy. Either allow all or allow none. Otherwise you are being biased and are factually enforcing a double standard.

  17. “Hamilton also praised the actions of protesters in Bristol who tore down a statue of slave trader Edward Colston.”

    Lewis should be careful what he supports. If history and society sees that man or any other historical figure in different light, it should remove the statue legally. Putting it in a museum is also a documentation for future generations of how nations perceived some men and how the perception changed. Outright support of vandalism which only seeks viral attention isn’t a right thing to do.

    1. John Toad (@)
      8th June 2020, 16:53

      It’s straight out of the 1984 playbook. Rewrite history in the light of current thinking until it reads the way you want it to.
      Slavery in the past is an historical fact, aided and abetted by the African slave sellers, who for some reason or other seem to get a pass on the part they played in the trade.
      Saudi Arabia also seems to get a pass even though they didn’t ban slavery until the 1960’s.
      Slavery is still active in the world, mostly involving women.
      Fight to stop modern slavery, not attempt to rewrite history.

    2. petebaldwin (@)
      8th June 2020, 17:00

      People have asked for the statue to be removed for years. The requests were ignored.

      1. Meanwhile, the statues of Gandhi, Kosciuszko and the victims of communism were vandalised across the US. Hamilton is really playing with fire here, publicly approving of vandalizing statues.

        1. Yes, be careful what you wish for, lest we end up with 1984 revisionism.

        2. Honestly no one gives a toss about statues. Practically every town has one somewhere and they only serve as a place for birds to crap on. Only a few are of people in recent living memory and as time goes on, they will be forgotten. Perhaps it’s time for a clear out of old generals, politicians, mine & mill owners and the few remaining slave traders – they won’t be missed.

          1. Erasing history is a bad thing. How beautiful that those who call others fascists would stand next to Goebbels and throw books into the fire.

      2. And oh, by the way, Britain got also it’s fair share of enrichment with Churchill’s statue vandalized. The only good thing is that many of the protesters are really simple and will forget those defamations once the rush of blood fades away, but getting initiatives for removing any statue that’s suddenly disliked by the mob rather resembles cultural cleansing. This won’t stop just with some controversial statues and Hamilton should really weigh his words, something he’s not used to do.

        1. It would be hilarious if Lewis gets prosecuted for inciting violence/vandalism/riots, doh.
          The irony.

    3. The Mayor of Bristol doesn’t give a toss about the pigeon rest being dumped in the docks.

      1. Even the local police chief was sanguine and said that the safety of the protesters and his own officers was more important, basically, than saving a statue commemorating a slave trader. He also pointed out that the image of police fighting protesters was precisely what wasn’t needed right now.
        The true violence has been on the black community of Bristol, forced to see the veneration of slavery imposed by Colston’s powerful defenders among the local Tory merchants and their ilk, despite protests about its abhorrence reaching back decades. This article by historian David Olusoga is worth reading on the subject.

    4. @pironitheprovocateur
      Throwing Colston’s statue in the river Avon wasn’t ‘vandalism,’ it was a historical event and will be remembered as such. I applaud the action and would have willingly helped had I been anywhere near the place. Sometimes action has to be taken, especially when an issue – such as removal of the statue – has been dragging on for decades. We’re talking about commemoration of someone who made a fortune from enslavement, torture and murder. A trade that saw thousands of Africans thrown into the sea, dead and alive. Nobody was hurt by this action. And the only people aggrieved are, frankly, racists.

      1. That’s not true, people aggravated by this don’t like vandalism and cultural ignorance, because this won’t stop with a statue of someone like Colton. People disapproving of this don’t like violent and numb mass deciding that it’s ok to destroy any monument they can get their hands on, like Kosciuszko in the US. Have you seen a man who tore down disparaging placards placed on the statue of Churchill, and how he got istantly called racist? Why, because he didn’t like the ignorance and primitivism of the mass? Would you also call him like that?

        1. That’s a curious inversion given that those protesting against the statue, including those who removed it, were the most historically informed about Colston (not Colton as you wrote). Try reading the article to which I posted a link above (by an actual historian). As for calling BLM protestors ‘ignorant’, ‘primitive’ and a ‘mass’, you give yourself away too easily.

  18. Lewis has got a lot of opinions lately, has he run out of hobbies?

    The irony is ofcourse that he works for a company that has used forced labourers in the past…

    “He who is without sin…”

    1. Someone find him a car immediately!
      He’s got far too much time on his hands.

    2. Jack (@jackisthestig)
      9th June 2020, 0:04

      He certainly is full of opinions when he’s not rattling his way through most of the Kardashians on a yacht somewhere sunny. We won’t hear a word from him once he’s busy getting his end away again!

  19. OK enough, shut up and drive. I don’t care about your advice to the world. It’s easy to complain when you’re on the sidelines. Enter politics and do something about your issues.

    1. GtisBetter (@)
      8th June 2020, 22:54

      Other people should shut up and do what you say?

  20. Well done, Lewis … you took the words right out of my mouth :-)

    Let’s be honest. The UK death toll is horrific. Over 50,000 dead in a population of 68 Million (Source: ONS). The USA death toll is 110,000, but their population is 330 Million (over four times bigger). An unmitigated disaster!

    1. Nope, much more likely to be a diagnosis/counting artifact, encouraged by a dash of government wanting to scare the population into a real lockdown. Lockdown should have happened 2 weeks earlier for the entire M25 enclosed area. Covid was a London disaster. At the other end of the timeline now, London seems to have herd immunity.

  21. I hugely respect Lewis for sharing his opinions lately, though I didn’t agree on his attack of other F1 drivers the other day for not using their social media in the way he chooses to, that was just a silly out burst in the heat of the moment.

    But I really hope he puts his money (literally) where his mouth is and boycotts any potential F1 race in USA where the rot of a lot of the problems are. I fear he won’t do that which will discredit a lot of what he is saying which is a shame as he clearly is passionate.

    1. Why stop in the US? Why not China, where the human rights violations are staggering, where a McDonald’s banned black people from entering?

      Discrimination and human rights violations are worldwide, not just in the US, which is just as easy target.

    2. Shouldn’t Lewis be boycotting the race in Qatar since that country does so wonderfully well where it concerns modern slavery?


      I understand that he says these things to support the fight against racism, but wouldn’t he make the biggest impact if the world champion refuses to race in Qatar because of the human rights situation there?

      1. Shouldn’t Lewis be boycotting the race in Qatar

        Should be pretty easy seeing as F1 doesn’t race in Qatar.

        1. :-))))))

          If you are looking for me ….. I will be going back into my underground cave for another year or so, apparently that’s where I have been hiding.

  22. Hey Lewie, you wanna comment on the state of the British government and their way of dealing with stuff, come back – live here, pay the taxes that we as residents do, then we might listen to you. Otherwise, stay domiciled in another tax break country and zip up your mouth.

    1. William Jones
      8th June 2020, 18:08

      I live in the Uk, can I just repeat his criticism word for word, and it suddenly magically becomes valid?

      Does your point extend to other countries? Is it OK for someone who’s fled a country fearing for their life to criticise that country, or must they also “zip up their mouth’s”?

      1. Well, Lewis spends a good deal of his time in America, discuss the pros and cons of that decision. Fearing for his life? Really?

        I think it was that other certainty in life, taxes..

        1. I didn’t say Lewis feared for his life, I was just giving a clear cut example where someone who doesn’t pay taxes in a country can criticise that country – a refugee having fled fearing for their lives – the point being to prove false the idea that one must pay taxes in a country to be able to criticise that country.

          Therefore, it is patently obvious that a person does not need to pay taxes to a country to have valid criticisms of that country. Try again, this time, come up with a criticism that holds.

          1. I didn’t say Lewis feared for his life

            yes you did

            I was just giving a clear cut example where someone who doesn’t pay taxes in a country can criticise that country – a refugee having fled fearing for their lives – the point being to prove false the idea that one must pay taxes in a country to be able to criticise that country.

            Lewis, a refugee? Fear for his life? Seriously? A tax exile I’ll agree to, but none of the above.

          2. William Jones
            9th June 2020, 19:34

            No I didn’t. Seriously, I’m not a native English speaker, and I know the language better than you.

  23. F1 has never been involved in politics? How soon we forget the £1million Bernie gave in the hope the UK government would pay him back through the Silverstone GP. How about the free tickets that British MPs have received for the grid at Silverstone and other races, viz Monaco.

    Putin at the Russian race – nah.

    I must have dreamed it all.

    1. Pretty stupid of F1 and the wider motor racing industry if they don’t get involved in British politics; or British politics don’t get involved in the industry, given the billions the government has and continues to spent on it.

  24. Good for Hamilton. I like him more and more as he gets older.

  25. I am fan of yours but you need to keep out politics and just do what you do best .

    1. GtisBetter (@)
      8th June 2020, 22:53

      He can be as political as he wants, cause he is a free man.

    2. Everybody has the right to free speech. Nobodies like you and me, or a sports superstar alike.

  26. Put simply, ‘we’ as humans never learn.

  27. Full of admiration for Lewis’s comments.
    I saw Charlie Brooker’s review of the UK’s Covid calamity a week or so back, and was agreeing with everything – until he took a swipe at Hamilton for using his media profile to raise awareness among his followers about hygiene precautions. That swipe involved attacking him as someone who drives round in circles with nothing interesting to say. Really? You too, Brooker? Curious that Formula 1’s only black driver gets picked out for making himself so prominent and apparently deserves such crass vitriol.

    1. I disagreed with that as well, but I think that’s an unfair accusation against Charlie Brooker. Hamilton is the most prominent F1 driver, one of the most vocal, and British, so was clearly the easiest target among F1 drivers in particular and even among all sports people in the UK.

      1. But it’s precisely the ‘easy target’ that disturbs me. Same with various black footballers who have become media targets over the years. Is it really because they are more vocal? Or because any opinion they express has to be checked and validated by a mostly white media? There was something peculiarly nasty about Brooker’s comment, his facial expression of disdain, it wasn’t just a joking remark or putdown.

        1. That’s Charlie Brooker’s reaction to everybody. I think you’re seeing things that aren’t there in this case. F1 is a fairly common thing for people who don’t like it to deride and Hamilton is the most famous driver. Did I think it was lazy. Yes, but probably just because I’m an F1 fan, and I assume that the majority who aren’t wouldn’t have cared or noticed. Were there racist undertones? Not apparent to me. It’s quite a serious accusation to make without better justification.

          I think that overall, press (and public) treatment of Hamilton is highly likely to be driven by prejudice, similar to Meghan Markel. However, pointing to a specific instance of criticism/mockery and claiming that it was individually the result of racism on the part of the creator is something people should be very cautious of.

          For reference, not that I intend to conflate Hamilton’s and Huq’s races or the type of degree of racism they are subjected to, but Brooker is married to and has children with a woman of Bangladeshi descent.

          1. I haven’t accused Brooker of racism. I’ve implied that he was complicit (lazily so, maybe) in further vilifying someone who has been picked out because of his race. There’s a difference. Precisely because of his marriage to Huq, I expected he’d be more sensitive to who he chooses to mock and not just follow the lead of the tabloid media. Saying he sneers at everyone is no excuse.

  28. My hairdresser is very opinionated. Unfortunately she doesn’t get the chance to spread her message around like certain F1 drivers do. Which is a shame, because her opinions about the COVID-19 pandemic management and many other issues are every bit as interesting and informed as said driver’s. As opossed to her (unknown by me, if she has any) opinions on the best way to tackle turn eight at Istanbul Park.

    1. An interest admission. My local hairdressers, along with every other one in the UK is currently shut. Care to explain yourself ?

      1. There is a world outside the UK

        1. She must be extremely well informed as a hairdresser then. In respect of wider health issues Hamilton has been involved in GOSH, military hospitals, and the like for a number of years. In addition he has given his voice, money and time to those we now find suffering unduly during the current pandemic; the poor, homeless, Bame, etc. for at least decade. So well done to her for being as informed as he is.

        2. That world would mostly be in your head, Mr Mitty?

          1. Unbelieveable as it may seem, there’s still a (pretty short) list of countries the British never invaded. Last time I checked, of the 200+ countries in the world, there were 22:
            Central African Republic
            Ivory Coast
            Marshall Islands
            Sao Tome and Principe
            Vatican City

  29. Hey Lewis, you could have saved thousands of lives as well by spending some of your time, for example, in lobbying inside Mercedes and the auto industry for moving away from diesel engines, which in Europe, by some researches, cause around 400 000 premature fatalities annually through particulate matter and NOx pollution. And guess what – unlike what people get now with the current pandemic situation, you’ve got the information and leverage for more than 10 years.

    I am not aware what good you’re doing in your professional capacity. It’s easy to criticise, but hard to act. Hypocrisy, isn’t it?

    ValTeRi BoTTaSS. DiSaPPoinTed,
    Daniel Ricciardo :)

    1. @nnachev

      It’s easy to criticise, but hard to act.

      Really. So what have you done?

    2. I am not aware what good you’re doing in your professional capacity


      Every time Hamilton does something publicly people like you claim hes only doing it for PR purposes … then in the next breath you complain if he isn’t publicly been seen to do something.

      Hypocrisy, isn’t it?

      Anyway how do you know he hasn’t lobbied Mercedes to move away from Diesel? You don’t.

  30. Jack (@jackisthestig)
    9th June 2020, 0:25

    Lewis should stand as a Labour MP when he retires from F1. A virtue-signalling, plant-based, oppressed, near-billionaire, globetrotting climate change activist would go down really well in the Labour heartlands of inner London. Although he would loose woke points for that “transphobic” video he made mocking his little cousin for wearing a dress a few years ago!

    1. Jack (@jackisthestig)
      9th June 2020, 0:27

      I forgot to mention tax exile as well.

    2. William Jones
      9th June 2020, 3:34

      I don’t get it.. that’s a stereotypical tory mp??? Virtue signalling – tick, plant based – don’t know – oppressed – tick – near billionaire – tick, globetrotting climate change activist – tick, tax exile – tick. Or is that the joke?

  31. Can Mercedes also be seen as a symbol of racism? They were quite involved with an Austrian seeking global domination. Not Toto, Hitler.

    They managed to supply various military hardware to the war effort, made use of forced labour and became Adolf’s vehicle of choice. And I’m pretty sure that his criteria for “Ein Volk” excluded black people. This also happened a lot more recently than the life of the person whose statue lies at the bottom of a river.

    Would love to see Hamilton make a statement and dump the W11 and his Mercedes branded apparel into a river.

    1. William Jones
      9th June 2020, 3:43

      No, corporations are not symbols of anything except a vehicle to put money in the pockets of it’s owners and managers. It doesn’t matter how many rainbow flags they put on facebook (except in Saudi Arabia and Russia obviously), now how many white text on black background messages of anti racism thye post to twitter, corporations will represent whatever makes them the most money.

      That said, I doubt any statues of Hitler would have fared much better. I’m curious to wonder why you would love to see Hamilton dump his merc stuff in a river – it’s not because you think mercedes is a racist brand, because you don’t. What’s the real reason?

    2. Mercedes and VW can apologise. The statue cant. Do you remember the felling of the Sadam Hussein statue? Same thing here. Yes the statue could have been stored in a museum but what did they take so long to do it?!

  32. Quite simple. Where is the line drawn?

    If people are going to project modern-day sensibilities onto historical figures, then why can’t those same sensibilities apply to everything in the past? People use the word “systemic”, I assume it means more than individuals.

    If Mercedes had come up with the WW2 version of DAS, then they might have got to write their version of history. Instead, we get to remember that they played a part in a failed, cruel fascist regime.

    So, if we are going to grandstand over the history of Colston (personally, never heard of him before), are we cool with ignoring the history of who pays our cheques?

    1. Damn, meant to reply to the previous post.

    2. I feel offended too. Not clear about what exactly. But everyone is offended by something these days and they all get a platform to vent it

  33. I might take the black ‘struggle’ more seriously if they stopped killing each other at a ridiculous rate!

    Or do those lives not matter?

  34. Hamilton is on fire! I love it! Hah

  35. Hindsight is a fools knowledge.

    He thinks he’s knocking Bojo, but he’s actually knocking an extraordinary filed of scientists who genuinely believe they are doing the right things. He does not know better than those people any more than I know better than him how he could get his car round Silverstone a few tenths quicker.

    1. Mark Twain said it best: “All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure”
      or, Speaking from the left side of the Dunning-Kruger curve.

Comments are closed.