Hamilton set up his own commission last year to encourage the take-up of science, technology, engineering and mathematics subjects among young black people. He also used his uniquely high profile within F1 to promote the Black Lives Matter movement and draw attention to the ongoing problem of racism.
Asked during the launch of the new Mercedes W12 today whether his main priority was to clinch an eighth title, Hamilton stressed the importance of his work promoting diversity.
“The main priority for 2021 – in the past it was about just winning championships but now it’s really pushing for… last year there was a lot of discussion about equality and inclusion and I think there was a lot of talk, this year it’s all about pushing for the diversity and really making sure that action is taken,” he said.
“That’s at the core of the drive for me. But of course we exist to win, that’s what all these guys and girls here are working towards. And so that’s my goal, to deliver that for them.”
Hamilton has signed a one-season extension on his Mercedes contract, prompting speculation he could call time on his 15-year career at the end of 2021. He said he hasn’t decided whether he intends to continue racing in the 2022 F1 season and beyond.
“I’m kind of in a fortunate position where I’ve achieved most of the stuff that I wanted to achieve up until this point,” said Hamilton. “So there’s no real need necessarily to plan too far ahead in the future.
“I think we’re living in quite an unusual period of time in life and I just wanted one year, then we can talk about if we do more and keep adding it [by] one if we have to.”
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