Lewis Hamilton has replaced his usual helmet design with one incorporating the Progress Pride flag for this weekend’s Qatar Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton’s 2021 Qatar Grand Prix helmet
Hamilton’s helmet features a version of the familiar LGBTQ+ rainbow flag which incorporates black, brown and other stripes in a chevron arrangement. The design was created by Daniel Quasar in 2018 and named the Progress Pride flag. It represents a range of groups that are under-represented, marginalised or discriminated against.
Yesterday Hamilton said Formula 1 and other sports are “duty bound” to highlight human rights concerns in countries they visit. “These places need scrutiny,” said Hamilton. “It needs the media to speak about these things. Equal rights is a serious issue.”
Qatar has strict anti-LGBTQ+ laws and same-sex relationships can be punished by imprisonment. The country will host the FIFA football World Cup next year, and announced last year it will allow rainbow flags to be displayed in its stadia.
Hamilton has also replaced his usual “Still I Rise” motto, taken from a poem by Maya Angelou, with the statement: “We Stand Together”.
On Saturday Hamilton confirmed he plans to wear the same design at the next race, the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, and the season finale in Abu Dhabi. “I’ll be using the same helmet through probably the last two races after this, or at least next week also,” he said.
He said he wasn’t aware of “any negative feedback” over the design. “On the back it says ‘we stand together’ and ‘love is love’ and it’s important for me to represent that community here as I know there are several situations which aren’t perfect and need to be highlighted.
“But I hope that someone reaches out and I would love to know what is happening here and what they’re doing to help support that community more, the LGBTQ+ community. I wait to hear.”
Other drivers have worn pride colours at earlier races this year. Sebastian Vettel did so during the pre-race We Race As One ceremony at the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend.
Daniel Ricciardo’s 2021 Qatar Grand Prix helmet
Daniel Ricciardo has also revised his helmet livery for this weekend and added some sparkle for the first of three consecutive races under lights.
Pierre Gasly’s 2021 Qatar Grand Prix helmet
A light retouch of his usual look for Pierre Gasly, adding gold colouring to catch the night lights in Qatar.
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