Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Silverstone, 2020

Hamilton: Equalling Schumacher’s title record matters less than improving diversity in F1

2020 Spanish Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton says his push to improve diversity in Formula 1 is more important to him than whether he equals Michael Schumacher’s record of seven world championship victories.

Schumacher’s record, which has stood for 16 years, is seen as an ultimate benchmark of success for a Formula 1 driver. Hamilton will equal it if he wins this year’s championship, which he is currently leading.

Hamilton has also led calls for Formula 1 to take a strong stance against racism and urged the sport and rival teams to hire from a more diverse background. Speaking in an interview for the official F1 website Hamilton, 35, described how he was inspired to do this by his hero Ayrton Senna, who died at the age of 34.

“As you get older, you empathise more, you start to understand people and everyone going through their own journey,” said Hamilton. “I watched Ayrton as a youngster and I definitely, as a kid, didn’t understand or could appreciate where he was in life because I hadn’t been there.

“He had such a huge impact, he moved the whole nation. And not only a nation, but people around the world, touched me so deeply and motivated me to want to go and do what he did.

“Now I’m of a similar age to him when he passed and I’m more aware of my surroundings and I see everything that’s happening around the world. And what I don’t know, what we don’t know, is how how many days we have left. I don’t assume that I’m going live to 90 years old. So I want to make sure I maximise every single day.”

Hamilton has founded a commission to use motorsport to promote the education of science, technology, engineering and mathematics to young black people. The commission is working with the FIA on the goal of promoting diversity in motorsport, which Hamilton has vocally supported in recent months.

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He has also urged FIA president Jean Todt and F1 chairman and CEO Chase Carey to do more to promote diversity in the sport.

“If I was to have retired a year ago maybe nothing would have changed,” he said. “But what I love to see right now is there is this awakening. Still not everyone, you still have a lot of these teams that are not saying anything and holding themselves accountable, there’s still a lot of people out there, but it’s finding the balance in how you engage those people.

“I hope in 10 years, I don’t want it to be 20 years’ time, I hope in a short space of time we can see change. Already you’ve seen Chase and the sport, you’re seeing Jean who I’ve had a chat with who’s hired a lady from Jamaica who is now working on the diversity campaign for the FIA, so you’re seeing things.

“But we need to stay on them. And that’s, I guess, part of my job being here. And that means more to me because if I’m able to look back in years’ time and think ‘Yeah, I won championships, but I helped, I was a part of helping shift the outlook of the sport and making it more accessible to people all over the world’, I think that would be a great thing to be a part of.”

Asked if that change would mean more to him than winning a seventh world championship, Hamilton said: “Sure”.

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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...

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47 comments on “Hamilton: Equalling Schumacher’s title record matters less than improving diversity in F1”

  1. Of course. Some things are more important than others, but this is perfectly normal.

    1. Did Lewis care about Khasmiri Lives matter ? …..or Uyghur? Rohingya? Palestinian? I dont think so….. His T -shirt said it

  2. This needs to move onto ‘diversity matters’. Whilst I completely support it, BLM as a term is not all encompassing – it isn’t a movement that will bring all people together from all backgrounds due to the name. Lewis is right about those going into mechanical engineering being from a certain background that doesn’t fairly represent either the world or the countries in which teams are based. Problem is, to make change you really have to get into politics and change the underlying unfair distribution of wealth that inhibits people, be they drivers or engineers, from day one.

    Sometimes Hamilton makes me cringe, and I’ve not particularly liked the way he’s somewhat coerced drivers into doing certain things, however he could quite easily just take the money and enjoy a very nice life but he’s clearly thinking deeper about what he could do with his life for good. That has to be commended.

    1. Perpetual identity crisis. Give it time and he’ll shift to something completely else

      1. Well he has been involved in these issues at a high level for nearly a decade; so when do you think he will move on?

        1. @riptide Correct me if I’m wrong but I can’t recall him ever having talked about about diversity, let alone do something concrete about it, untill it became mainstream. Being discriminated against (by Spanish Alonso fans and the stewards, most notably) but never about there being no people of colour in among the engineers, mechanics or management.

    2. The BLM movement is as a result of the lopsided judicial and police treatment towards blacks and some minorities in the US, essentially institutionalised racism.
      Diversity project should be a different thing or movement because you can only encourage people to be more accepting of other races or cultures which can only be a long term objective.
      Attempting to mix up both is futile and counter productive.

      1. There is no “institutionalized racism”, it is a unicorn, it doesn’t exist and nobody here has been able to come up with an example, other than “poor treatment by police”. Facts do not support this claim. Minorities have an incredible amount of advantages from affirmative action and social programs but they do commit more crimes and as such have more run ins with police, per percentage of population.

  3. Lewis Hamilton cares about diversity? Wow, I could never have guessed. If only there were articles every weekend then maybe I’d have some idea.

    1. Racism hasn’t gone away so why should he stop talking about it?

      1. I haven’t suggested he stop talking about it at all. Just gently pointing out that this story is little surprise to those who have followed F1 over the last few months…

        1. @cduk_mugello What makes you think the intention of the article was to surprise in some way? If only Keith would allow us to skip certain articles if they don’t appeal…

          1. @psynrg a very strange hypothetical to ask.

    2. If the press would either ask others about diversity, or ask Ham about other subjects then Keith wouldn’t have to put up articles about Ham and diversity every weekend.
      The way I see it in the current F1 bubble is only Sky and F1 are in that bubble, and the meet the press is done by zoom. So very limited access for anyone else. And just about all of those interviews are being broadcast free and on social media. So if you watch them it saves you clicking on just about any ‘interview’ article. For example I think this article has been culled from the Chandok Sky interview from last week.
      And of course the added bonus of watching those interviews is that you see exactly what the drivers say. Not some edited version that paints a completely different picture.

      1. @ian dearing

        The problem is that the press is addicted to asking activists and celebrities, rather than actually reporting the facts. The more you dig into the facts, the clearer it is how the woke claims are wrong. So this is why woke reporting tends to stay at the level of vague and high level accusations, as well as vague and high level demands.

        People who pay attention know that the woke tend to want white people to prostrate themselves, as described by DiAngelo in her best-selling book, where she claims that “wanting to jump over the hard, personal work and get to ‘solutions'” is a “foundation of white fragility.” In other words, the point is for white people to suffer, not to actually help people.

        Lots of people are not sadistic or masochistic, so they opt out of this sick ideology that the media is somehow largely in love with. Because of how the media and woke mobs tends to punish dissent, people often shut up or merely discuss their dissent under pseudonyms.

        1. @aapje, using the term ‘woke’ a lot doesn’t really help your argument.
          You could as well change your name to Karen and share a QAnon link and gain the same respect.

          1. @coldfly

            Don’t you ever get tired of making a fool of yourself?

  4. thats why he is wearing and taking picture with brand like HUGO BOSS helps a lot not to be racist….(if you know history …)
    joking aside i’m not saying that he is wrong but where he was few years ago when all this started from kapernick ?
    i don’t recall any of this at that time

    1. Some basic research might help. Almost all of his charity work over the last decade has been about the disadvantaged young, particularly those of colour. And his work as a UN Ambassador in this area started long before someone took a knee.
      I always think people must be desperate when they reference BOSS, which comes across as really silly when you think that Ham was instrumental in landing the Hilfiger contract that replaced BOSS at Mercedes.

      1. @ian Dearing. the hugo boss was a joke if you didn’t get it well not point here talking…. but al this about BLM now … from him doesn’t look natural… it looks more “ill jump on a wagon that black lives matter now”… when black people have being treated like that for century….. Again where he was when kapernick start all this few years ago and was fired from SF49 and got completely blocked by NFL and not able coming back to play ? …. there are famous people that do all sort of charity and you never hear anything about it …..maybe lewis does too who knows….

        1. @domo70 Stop and think rather than attacking one individual. Your question is valid but it should be widened…Where were ALL the Millions of people who are now getting involved with the movement when Colin Kaepernick started with his NFL protests? What has the trigger been that resulted outrage in society at social injustice? Caused individuals, communities and organisations to reflect, and consider their response? Let’s play the game, why didn’t more of society join with Kaepernick? Where were you in supporting Kaepernick? Did you use your voice to support the cause? Turn your eye inwards and ask how you have used your voice before you start criticising others for their timing in adding their voice.

          1. @ju88sy first chillout … imm not attacking anyone….. you don’t know me and you don’t know my view on this or how i use my voice and what i did or i do to support this…. and the one is attacking here its you with all this sentence what you do , what your voice….i express my opinion in the matter and reply without insulting anyone…… so before you start writing just take a deep very deep breath and then start writing….

          2. @domo70. I don’t pretend to know you, or judge you, neither does my post above, it just asks questions that built on the (perceived) barbed question from your original post, yes, to make a point.

            All good and calm here! Just pointing out we should all stop and think before we smash out our thoughts on to keyboards (or phone screens) on a subject that is worthy of intense reflection. Peace.

        2. My point was that its a tired old ‘joke’ that doesn’t even have a punchline, given that it was as a result of he’s actions that they are no longer with Mercedes. But that’s a digression.
          I won’t go into detail as its quite easy to research, but Ham has been working in these areas for a decade; he is a UN Ambassador in relation to these issues amongst the many other positions he holds. He has attended and spoken at numerous BAME conferences, etc. Outside of race issues he also supports many other charities and initiatives that particularly aid disadvantage children. In addition to his work with hospitals, hospices, military, and so on. So I don’t know where you want to place a protest that at the time was particular to one country and one sport in relation to that work.
          As for the protest itself he was as clear then as he is now. He would take not part in any protest that impacts a nations national anthem.

          1. Good work @riptide. Just want to say I am reading your comments and nodding my head. Hamilton is far from ideal, but some of his _good_ work often gets ignored.

  5. If Lewis wants to stay in F1 then he needs a contract. It will be harder for him to influence people from outside the paddock than if he’s allowed inside, and the best excuse for being allowed inside the paddock is to have a contract.

  6. I don’t think so Lewis. Sorry, I don’t buy that. Now it’s just more cool to talk about that diversity topic.

    1. (Think about this:)
      If it’s that important to him to be willing to lie about, then he could as well be sincere!

      1. you know @coldfly, he might be sincere. But the timing? Why hasn’t he started all those things years before? Did he need to be within a shot of equalling Schumacher’s title record to now start this whole circus?

        But don’t listen to me, I’m just a sour Schumi fan who can’t take the fact, that Hamilton will surpass him this season.

        1. I’m just a sour Schumi fan who can’t take the fact, that Hamilton will surpass him this season.

          Don’t worry @milansson. What Schumi did will always remain special.

        2. Don’t worry, Ham could win another 100 races and he still won’t be up there with legends like Clark, Senna and Schumacher.

          They were real driving gods, Ham just got lucky with the best car and can barely beat his average teammate!

          1. None of your opinions will appear in the record books. HAMS achievements however…
            There are NO asterisks against ANY WDC. Shame for you but there it is. Enjoy 😀

          2. Sadly for you, I think Hamilton was pretty well regarded before joining Mercedes.

          3. I agree, hamilton had way too good a car, I’m sure many people won’t regard him as the best of all times, it’s not about the statistics, it’s about the accomplishment. Show something with an average car, like other top drivers did.

  7. With him saying something like that, I really wish someone would really challenge him on Sundays. Schumacher didn’t have an all-dominant car for 7, soon to be 8 years straight.

    1. Indeed, schumacher actually had a fairly normal car on average considering his talent, and he made the car dominant, he didn’t just join, it took him several years to accomplish that.

      1. Yeah Hamilton is rubbish!

  8. The lying vainglory of Hamilton..

  9. Has Lewis pointed out the EU, UK, Asian or United States laws that are systemically racist that he would like changed? Secondly, has he named the names of the specific people and their policies standing in the way of a black person achieving their goals? Where are the actual statistics that show skin color is the defining factor in a lack of diversity instead of things like education, job choice and experience? Otherwise, he is fighting a made up ghost that everyone other than himself is a racist. “Oh…the other guy that I can’t specifically point to is a racist”. It’s a hollow gesture and classic virtue signaling.

    1. Exactly! He’s just a left-wing, SJW that has to always have something to whine about. Perpetual malcontent, is what I call people like him.

      1. Yet here you are again, whining like a baby. Never thought the right would turn into a bunch of snowflakes. What is it about black men that make you are others like you so insecure?

    2. First, go and look up any statistic which measures success in education, prosperity or anything else on a demographic basis. They all show the same thing. You’d have to be wilfully ignorant not to have already seem that. Second, “virtue signalling” is an utterly vacuous term which serves only to expose the fact that those who brandish it are fully aware of their own malignance.

      Once upon a time each generation sought to create a better world for their children than they experienced themselves. Sad that the current generation of elders is so hell-bent on reversing that trend.

      If there’s one good thing about articles like this, it’s that they do a great job of baiting gammons into exposing themselves as such, so they can be shunned by those of us with a shred of basic human decency.

      1. Jose Lopes da Silva
        16th August 2020, 7:21

        The thing I still can’t understand is if people are not racists themselves, why do feel rage when someone complain – at someone else, not themselves.

  10. Press x to doubt

  11. God I am so sick of him. He cannot get out of the sport soon enough. If he wants to be a full-time SJW, go for it, but leave this crap out of sports!

  12. I’m an Australian of Malaysian-Indian heritage, also am an engineer with 15 years industrial experience. Please give me a job at Mercedes. I think I qualify as a diversity hire. ;)

  13. This is the organization that Mr Hamilton endorses.

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