Lewis Hamilton goes undercover to inspire school children (SHORT VERSION)
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Lewis Hamilton, 36, says he’s relishing being one of the older drivers on the grid, after “breaking some of these in these invisible rules” during his time in Formula One.
Hamilton has become a strong advocate in the sport alongside his Mercedes team, campaigning for more diversity and pushing for racial equality with various charities and campaigns set in place.
Over the past few seasons, the seven-time world champion has made his voice heard, most recently supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, pioneering in F1’s pre-race anti-racism stance on the grid, whilst also attending BLM protests and pushing his own team Mercedes to do more.
“From my experience as a driver, there’s definitely the experience of, ‘my team won’t want me to say that’ or ‘I can’t be outspoken because the team won’t like that’ or ‘the sponsors won’t like that’,” Hamilton began, speaking to Sky Sports F1. “I hope that breaking some of these invisible rules that are there has shown the others that they can do those things.
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“I don’t mind being the one to break them, and yeah it’s great to see Seb [Vettel] really coming out on his own. As two of the older drivers I hope that does encourage some of the younger drivers.”
Since leaving Ferrari, four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel has also spoken out about passion projects, climate change and equal rights, most notably wearing a rainbow t-shirt and mask as he backed his nation’s football team before Germany’s Euro 2020 match against Hungary.
Uefa declined a request to light up the Allianz Arena in rainbow colours as Germany were to protest against a new law passed in Hungary that bans the sharing of any content seen as promoting homosexuality and gender change to under-18s, something Vettel was against.
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Speaking of the younger generation, however, the German has a strong relationship with Mick Schumacher, the son of racing legend Michael, and alongside Hamilton, has been “educating” them in their careers.
And Hamilton hopes their words can help shape the next generation, before their time in Formula One is done.
“I’m speaking with Mick [Schumacher],” continued the 36-year-old. “Whose such a lovely lad and he’s saying things like, ‘I don’t know everything, is there any way you can educate me?’ And same with Lando [Norris]. So I’m really proud of this next generation coming along, but we can still encourage them to be more invested and more understanding.
“When you’re young, all you’re thinking about is winning – you don’t have time for a lot of these other things. Well, you think you don’t, but you actually do. And that’s what we’ve got to get across.”
Hamilton remains embroiled in a tense championship battle with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen as he looks to take a record-breaking eighth world title.
The Briton is expected to carry on racing in Formula One until at least 2023 after signing a new deal with Mercedes earlier this year. He will be partnered with George Russell, who replaces Valtteri Bottas in the second seat.
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