Hamilton opts for diplomacy over “embarrassing people” in future activism

RaceFans Round-up

Posted on

| Written by

In the round-up: Having told Ferrari and other teams last year to “hold themselves accountable” over diversity, and criticised Red Bull’s Helmut Marko over an alleged quote on the subject which turned out to be false, Lewis Hamilton says he will favour a less confrontational approach from now on.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free


Sebastian Bourdais, Foyt, Texas Motor Speedway, IndyCar, 2021
Sebastian Bourdais, Foyt, Texas Motor Speedway, IndyCar, 2021

Sebastien Bourdais’s Foyt IndyCar appeared in its new livery in testing at Texas Motor Speedway this week.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Social media

Notable posts from Twitter, Instagram and more:

Comment of the day

The track changes at Albert Park look promising to LB:

I understand the logic of the changes. They clearly believe that the reason there is no overtaking is because the straights aren’t long enough, so by running from turn six down to turn 11 in a slipstream will give a chance to get close. I worry that turn 11 hasn’t got enough of a braking zone however, that it will be highway DRS passes or nothing.

There also seems to be a weird connection with “curved straights” and cars being able to get close, thinking Blanchimont at Spa / After Luffield at Silverstone / 130R at Suzuka. Its seems like there is always overtaking at these corners so having a curved straight with turn eight then the new nine-ten corner might work well.
LB (@burden93)

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Majormilou, Nico Savidge, Ripping Silk, Christopher and Nic Morley!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is via the contact form or adding to the list here.

Author information

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

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

Posted on Categories RaceFans Round-upTags , , ,

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

  • 57 comments on “Hamilton opts for diplomacy over “embarrassing people” in future activism”

    1. Sure you will, Lewis. Bit of a slow learner….

      1. To insult Lewis in this fashion is to insult a great many F1 drivers.

        1. Thats no insult. He was clumsy in his approach so far which can hardly be hold against him since he is a racing driver and not a political/societal activist. Should he have taken this approach earlier, he would have been a lot more effective. So, happy he gained this insight and yes he did get there fairly slow

          1. I believe the original post meant it as a snub to Lewis.

            I disagree he was clumsy. Being outspoken would’ve always had this effect.

            The headline gives the impression Lewis approached the matter with the intention of embarrassing others. IMO, the entire matter, and how deaf F1 as a whole has been towards the matter of systemic discrimination was already embarrassing, it only took Lewis bringing light to it, as any non-professional pr person would, to shed light on that fact. Also, the fact that he is a black man and is F1’s star only exacerbated the effect.

            What was he to do differently?

            1. Lewis clearly approach the racial activism thing with the intent of shaming FOA, FIA, and other teams into doing something. Shaming them after Lewis himself, kept quiet on racial inequality for 13 years as F1’s biggest celebrity. It was just in 2020 that he suddenly decided to act for the first time, and talk condescendingly to the rest of the grid and the sport itself, for not being as committed to racial equality as Lewis himself has very suddenly become.

              There absolutely nothing wrong with the message. We should all want to do away with discrimination. But the approach Lewis took was hypocritical. It many ways it seemed opportunistic, as a way to promote his personal brand now that racial activism is ‘safe’ and trendy. He didn’t dare say a single thing when it was risky and now he tries to act like he’s Ali or Colin Kaepernick.

            2. You say a lot before you admit there is absolutely nothing wrong with the message.

              Lewis has said himself he used the momentum of the black lives matter movement to finally begin to really speak up. You say he kept quiet for 13 years, that is so disappointing to hear someone say. Lewis has always been giving voice to racial inequality he has experienced. Now, as undisputedly the most successful f1 driver, and he rode on the back of BLM. How is his approach hypocritical? its as though you don’t understand how change works. It always takes momentum, for the minority to change the general consensus. You ever wonder how the majority group never has anything to really complain about? I don’t follow how lewis used it to promote his own brand. Lewis is not a business man, he is a personality. He uses his fame, goodwill and squeaky clean public persona to shed light on matters important to him to great effect.

              Lewis didn’t “clearly” do anything, the MOST he did was wear a controversial shirt. Other than that he was basically asking, pleading, calling out the majority in the sport which all happen to fit similar characteristics. The only thing that made a difference anyway was BLM becoming a global movement; organisations had no choice but to be on the right side of it.

              You deride Lewis for his efforts, but a few of the same persons you said he spoke condescendingly towards, only shamefully spoke up only afterwards. some even saying they had no idea it was so bad. In 2021 how can you have no idea how bad it still is? Its really sad in this sport we love, Lewis is literally the only personality using his platform wholeheartedly for a cause. But as you rightfully pointed out, he is finally in a position to do so effectively.

            3. Its a bit of a misnoma to say Hamilton was silent for 13 years on that topic. Had he entered the sport with that view of the sport, or that mindset on life, he would not have lasted very long. At the very least he would have been seen as biting the hand that feeds him, and perhaps unworthy of the oportunity to participate. He had enough to overcome without raising that hot potatoe.

              Its only now that he has first proven himself as multiple world champion that he has the platform to heard and to be taken seriously. Also in those years society has changed to the point where it is more natural to be vocal. Hamilton makes his points, now as befits the times he lives in. He makes his point through his sport, and as he does so he shows charecter, and dare i say it leadership.

      2. If ever there was a time to embarrass anybody, it’s when regimes like Saudi-Arabia gets to whitewash themselves through the sport. Some teams in the football world cup qualifyers in Qatar did T-shirt stunts about human rights now, embarrassing the host, which is bound to be endlessly more effective at forming public opinion and effecting change than for example sitting down for a chat with their ambassador, but then Hamilton knows this full well which is why he’s been hard at the t-shirt activism before. He just can’t be bothered on this issue.

        1. Rammed if you do, rammed if you don’t eh? Wise words Balue. Keep fighting the good fight 👍🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆

          1. Oh dear! Rammed???? Hshaha, of course I meant DAMNED but feel free to fill your boots with that one Balue!😂

    2. Wow, so earlier he was set out to embarrass people..? I don’t like that.

      1. You know what he was getting at.
        Don’t embarrass yourself.

        1. The other possibility is that he only now realized that he was “embarrassing people” with his approach. I guess someone could be that dumb.

          1. Last year there were new cases of people of colour being killed and murdered for the whole world to watch on the media on what almost felt like a daily basis. I found and find it unbearable that this still happens in our time and I can only imagine what that feels like especially for other people of colour who have experienced and still are experiencing racism from people around them and systemic racism in their lifes. So maybe he was angry, maybe he was jumping to conclusions, maybe he did not always hit the right tone. Only human given the circumstances. I for one think that Lewis has set out to fight for equality, speak up on this topic which still seems so controversial for some and thus use (and risk) his reach and fame is a highly courageous thing to do, as is to now openly admit that maybe there are better approaches to the topic than the one he chose last year.

            Reply moderated
            1. Sure.. I wonder if he feels any need to apologize to the people he “embarrassed”. He did powerplays in Twitter and in media, strong arming people in difficult positions. It’s not unfair to say he was bullyish for a good cause.

              It’s quite amazing if he really didn’t understand the nature of his tactics. In that case I imagine he must be used to getting his way, because it is pretty common knowledge that diplomacy works better than “embarrasing”.

              I think there’s a good chance that he got a pushback behind the curtain and that’s why he’s now having this realization. If this realization was real, if he really only now had realized that he’s been unknowingy “embarrassing” people, I imagine he’d at least be sorry. But there’s nothing indicating he is.

            2. Most blacks get killed by other blacks. Blacks care about blacks so much, that they keep killing each other. Yet, there is only outrage when a black person is killed by a white person. That’s racism.

          2. Embarrassing people is one thing, embarrassing himself is the other thing he has to get a handle on.

            1. More than a touch of hypocrisy there Rodber!
              Oh the IRONY! 😴

          3. Do you think it possible that the powers that be, having just committed to the Saudi regime for the medium term in exchange for billions, had a quiet word in his shell-like to say turn it down a notch?

            1. If LH has criticized Saudi Arabia, I wouldn’t be surprised at all. Only one phone call from SA would be needed. To me the question is: does anybody really think SA wouldn’t do it in such a scenario.

      2. It’s clear he was speaking after the fact. He realised what he was doing embarrassed people, not intending too.

        1. Yeah maybe so.. I didn’t even consider that possibility, because he was so obviously “embarrasing people”, publicly pushing them into a corner and forcing their hands that it’s quite amazing if he didn’t realize he was doing it. I’m happy that he has finally realized what was so obvious for many.

          1. Everyone seems to be making a point about that phrase ’embarrassing people’. Each has their own idea of what it means to them. Yets its really only an approximation, rather than a precise discription. It might be more acurate says ‘calling out’, or even ‘shaming’, or whatever else it takes to get people to actually think about the world they live in.

            ‘Embarassed’ was clearly selected in the moment to answer a question, not to be picked apart for its intentions.

            1. more acurate to say …

            2. Those are his words so we can’t say what would be more accurate from his point of view.

              Everybody knows what he did as it was public: Strong arming people to his will in Twitter and media. Bullyish behaviour for a good cause.

    3. How good were the last two days! The round up back in its social media and british-oriented version.

    4. The COTD forgets T11’s high-speed nature, which is why the new uninterrupted full-throttle section is unlikely to become an activation zone.

    5. The one you’re embarrassing Lewis is yourself!

      1. I KNOW, right? 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆 must be so very embarrassing. What a mug.

    6. Where is the other Renault in the 2006 photo? Presumably the pitlane. Fisi got a face full of flames from the back of Button’s car on the last lap so it’s odd to think the polesitter and a pitlane starter had converged by the finish!

    7. Hamilton should know that whether treating someone with diplomacy, embarrassing them, or remaining silent, it doesn’t diminish his ability to trigger the gammons.

      1. I might be wrong on this, but part of the problem that there’s been so few minority drivers is that because typically to get into the upper echelons of motorsport, you usually have to come from a pretty well-off family. And the fact is that minorities tend to be poorer, and so I think that the underrepresentation of minorities is more a symptom of the high costs to get into F1 than anything else.
        This is why Hamilton’s previous approach, such as calling out people like Jackie Stewart and Mario Andretti when they did express somewhat reasonable comments on the issue was sloppy and misjudged I believe. I don’t think you can simply put this down to Hamilton haters, I think there was valid criticism that Hamilton didn’t show others the respect at times he perhaps should’ve.

        Reply moderated
        1. The problem is ppl thinking expressing “somewhat reasonable comments” is enough to not be called out. I can hate spinach and say spinach is a superfood we should all eat. The problem is F1 likes to cozy up to nefarious regimes while still actively portraying themselves as forward thinking, sustainable, and for the good of the world.

          1. @gufdamm
            Again I might be mistaken, but in my mind Hamilton is referring to his actions on BLM here, not calling out some of the regimes F1 goes to. I’m all for stopping going to some of the places F1 currently does, especially China (imo the worst regime F1 goes to, beyond Saudi Arabia, beyond Bahrain and Russia).
            I think Hamilton’s activism on the countries F1 goes to he’s done a much better job, he’s got himself educated on the issues and tried to make a change with the powers that be, not calling out other people who might not share his view.

        1. Used to describe those who easily get angry and red in the face on any given subject.
          Some claim the term is racist. One can only imagine how many times these angry people with cheeks like gammon have been refused service, been racially abused in the street, or threatened in some way.

          1. Used to describe those who easily get angry and red in the face on any given subject.

            An interesting new term! So it means pretty much the same as “an angry person”? Can a person of any race be a gammon? If discrimination LH sees gets him angry, is he a gammon?

            1. New term? A few hundred years old. Dickens used it to describe Gregsbury in Nicholas Nickleby. Someone who gets emotional and angry over his political beliefs, whilst getting redder and redder in the face. In the wider context think Mr Bumble in Oliver Twist, or the many cartoons from the earlier period by Gillray, particularly of early John Bull. There are countless examples of its use since I believe the early 1600s right up to Brexit and beyond.
              Plenty of info out there.

    8. RocketTankski
      2nd April 2021, 12:31

      I doubt that it is possible to embarrass Ferrari or Dr. Marko quite that easily!

      1. Yeah, Hamilton was pushing people around and forcing their hands. Someone probably started feeling a pushback and now LH has had a realization. The word LH chooses to use here is “embarrass”, because it saves his face.

    9. Jockey Ewing
      2nd April 2021, 14:07

      I think maybe Lewis was a bit on the harsh side with some of his acts, but I fear if he never tries to “embarrass” that might turns out to be too mild. I think without doing some dividing things one very very rarely earns his or her statue. I was at about ok with his BLM efforts, although the whole BLM thing would look better and smarter, if many of it’s protestors would not exclusively fight against discrimination against black people, but against all kinds of discrimination (or at least it would be emphasized a bit more). Myself rarely met black people (here there are much much less of them than in the not so many int the UK), but I like their culture and music, so I definitely can not hate them, but I find many of similar movements for minority rights overly narrow-scoped, which might turn the whole effort to look like a bit more negative than it should be for an outsider potential supporter, so such ones can not entirely wholeheartedly support the movement.

      For example I was not bothered at all with the texts on Lewis T-shirts. He is one of the right persons to do so. He is not an university professor, but a celebrity, a star, acts like that is at the right place at him.
      But i’m often bothered, with similar movements’ race-exclusivity or minority-exclusivity, if that exclusivity is not used well by some less smart protesters then that looks bad, often ends up bad. I think the scope is not wide enough for the world heading to the future.

      Btw, when will Hamilton’s investiture ceremony will happen? I know little about the whole system, it seems to be a bit complex, including the ranks -although I find my own country’s similar system very complex as well-, but I guess the ceremony where he will recieve his award is named like that. So as I yet not seen the pictures and headlines about that ceremony, I guess, it’s still upcoming, or due to Covid there is not even a fiexed date for it yet. But I would like to see that finally, go Lewis go ! :)

    10. Ham acted like a spoiled brat, besides like he says there are better strategies. Who is he to point the finger? No saint. The promoters are the ones that could benefit by pushing some iniatiatives. Make publicity.

      1. Spoiled brat? Really?

        He wanted to be seen reacting without knowing what or how to achieve that. He needed to be seen reflecting on the frustrations at large in the world, whilst doing so in a dignified manner as befits his position. Its a big ask for which there is no right answers. Silence was not an option. Each in his own way.

        1. Dignified manner

          IMO you can’t really say this when he played people into a position where they had to do his will or appear racist.

    11. Multi-millionaires should be banned from telling others how to live their lives.

      1. There always the option of…I don’t know?…NOT listening/ignoring if it bothers you. Just a thought.

    12. Sad to see so many comments by people who refuse to be embarrassed by, or even acknowledge their innate racism.

      1. What’s really sad the way we allow our thoughts to be bound to the words we use. That very limited use of language plays the greater part on the way we percieve the world. Its language used as a reflex, used out of habit, before its ever truely discriptive, let alone an explainatory. Its language which in its own simple way crudely promotes the extreme. Its not subtle, its not objective, its closed, circular, subjective, ultimately polarising. In any other context it might also be taken as inflamatory. Its language which draws a line and then forces the other to take a stand. In no way is it reconciliatory.

        Personally I blame the schools, where the process of thought is left to self-discovery instead of also being taught.

        Consider this a lesson on how to make friends, not enemies. Some people only know how to provoke a negative reaction.

      2. @hohum What’s sad and embarrassing is that some don’t have anything else to play but the racism card on anyone who criticize Hamilton, and don’t realize they are revealing their prejudicial and racist view by in reality claiming that that all who do so must be non-black and racist, without having the slightest idea of their skin color.

        1. I don’t think your prejudice with Lewis is racist per se. You just really don’t like him. What is weird though is the level of your “dislike”. Its all just a bit concerning Balue. I’m worried for you. These are difficult times for us all but it seems this has hit you particularly hard. I’m really sorry about that Balue. Maybe have a chat with a professional. Good luck my friend.

          1. I don’t think your prejudice with Balue is racist per se. You just really don’t like him. What is weird though is the level of your “dislike”. Its all just a bit concerning Dean R. I’m worried for you. These are difficult times for us all but it seems this has hit you particularly hard. I’m really sorry about that Dean R. Maybe have a chat with a professional. Good luck my friend.

            Look, your reply can be copy-pasted to you and it has the same level of validity! :)

            1. Copies are usually inferior.

            2. Copies are usually inferior.

              @didaho but digital copies don’t deteroriate in quality. :D

          2. @deanr What’s also sad and embarrassing is your banal attacking of posters, revealing you have absolutely nothing else but the lowest form of argumentation

            1. ..and people wonder why I don’t like Hamilton fans..

            2. ^And thus confirms prejudicial tendencies.

            3. Attack?? I’m sorry. I was just expressing concern for a troubled soul. If this has made things worse then I take it back. Sorry Balue.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    All comments are moderated. See the Comment Policy and FAQ for more.
    If the person you're replying to is a registered user you can notify them of your reply using '@username'.