Miami Gardens, Fla. ( Associated Press) — Shortly after Lewis Hamilton arrived in the United States, Roe v. Wade plunged into the debate. She protested the ban on wearing jewelry during races in Miami, wearing three watches, eight rings and several necklaces.
And as the seven-time world champion prepared for her Formula One debut in South Florida, Hamilton hosted former first lady Michelle Obama in her pit for practice and qualifying.
Hamilton has remained as much a change agent in his career for 16 years since he became the first black winner in F1 in 2008. The British racer, now 37 years old, is the most winning driver in the history of the series and is tied with Michael Schumacher for a record. seven titles. Hamilton remains the only black driver at the most exclusive level of motorsports.
He uses his platform to speak on issues of social justice and the protection of race, human rights and the LBGTQ community. Hamilton speaks during races in countries with questionable human rights records, or when an issue arises that he feels his voice can support.
Earlier this week while in New York, Hamilton took to Instagram to speak on a potential Supreme Court decision to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling and end the nationwide right to legal abortion.
Hamilton posted to his nearly 28 million followers on his Instagram Story, “I love living in the States, but I can’t ignore what’s happening right now and what some people in government do to the women who live here.” trying to do.”
“Everyone should have the right to choose what they do with their bodies. We can’t let that choice take away.”
The next post included names of organizations and resources supporting abortion rights.
Two days later, he arrived at the paddock of Hard Rock Stadium wearing every piece of jewelry he could find., He was protesting a decision by F1’s governing body, the FIA, to crack down on drivers wearing jewelry while competing. The FIA claims that the jewelry is a potential security hazard; Hamilton says he has been wearing his piercing for 16 seasons in F1 and it is his right to express himself however he likes.
But according to the US Census Bureau, the glitz and glamor of F1 invaded Miami Gardens – a suburban family neighborhood that is about 70% black or African American – Hamilton was the lone face of diversity. This is not enough, said his boss, Mercedes chief Toto Wolff.
“Does (F1) need role models, not just the top drivers who are the biggest role models in the sport, but we need … to change that room, of people talking about formula one. There should be a more diverse group. One,” Wolff said. “We just need to take it one step at a time. We would love to have a very diverse group of fans and viewers and we are ready to do whatever we can.”
California native Zac Brown, who now runs McLaren Racing, said it was important to bring F1 to a new audience. He cited the growth of a North American fan base through the Netflix documentary “Drive to Survive” through “a new, more diverse young fan base”.
“If you look at the fan base they’ve brought in, they’ve brought in a lot of female fans, a lot of young people,” Brown said. “Coming into new markets like Miami and then looking for not just great race broadcasts but side and shoulder programming. It’s all about making incremental profits in these areas.
“We just have to continue to expose our great game to people who are new to the game and then let the game work its magic on everyone like it’s been there for us for many years.”