Hamilton pays tribute to Chadwick Boseman: “Wakanda Forever!”

© LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd

After scoring his 93rd pole position at the Belgian Grand Prix Qualifying, Lewis Hamilton paid tribute to the late Black Panther actor Chadwick Boseman.

Boseman played the main character in the Marvel superhero movie Black Panther, the leader of the fictional African country of Wakanda. Black Panther was the first Marvel Cinematic Universe movie to have a black main character. Boseman died on Friday after being diagnosed with cancer four years ago.

After taking pole position at the Belgian Grand Prix qualifying, Hamilton immediately paid tribute to Boseman by crossing his arms in a Black Panther pose and later using his battle cry: “Wakanda forever”.

“That was really weighing heavy on me today,” Hamilton said after qualifying.

“I was so driven to deliver a good performance today so that I could dedicate it to Chad.

“I remember when I was a kid that Superman was a superhero, he didn’t look like me, but I still thought Superman was the greatest.

“When Chad became the King, it was really, when he became a superhero in Wakanda it was such a special day for so many people as I know kids like myself will be able to now look up to him and it is possible to do what he did, so this one’s dedicated to him.”

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Hamilton first met Chadwick during New York’s fashion week.

“We were at the same dinner, I think I also met him at the Met Gala. I saw him a couple of times throughout the rest of the night and we actually kind of partied away together, on the same table basically. And it was an incredible scenario. I remember talking to him.

“I remember when Black Panther came out, I’m a huge, huge Marvel fan, so just knowing how Hollywood has been for a long, long time and to see the first black superhero come out… ah man everyone was just so proud to really represent.

“To see someone make it like him, and be such a powerful figure within the Avengers world, it was incredible, such an honour, and inspiring.

“His legacy will always live on,” concluded the Briton.

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