Lewis Hamilton has responded to FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem saying that drivers should not be ‘imposing their beliefs’ on others.
In an interview with GrandPrix247, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has seemingly criticised the activism of Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and Lando Norris, by saying drivers should not be ‘imposing their beliefs’ on others.
He has since tried to clarify his statement, and now Lewis gives his response.
“I only heard about it this morning, I’ve not read it, so I don’t really know all that has been said,” Hamilton said ahead of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
“I’m also aware that sometimes things I’ve said have been taken out of context, so I want to give that… that maybe has happened? I don’t know.
“I heard that he clarified things on social media which is positive. That doesn’t stop us from doing what we’re doing.”
Lewis then added:
“The sport is continuously growing, we have a bigger audience than ever before and it continues to be an important platform to use our voices, every single one of us here, within the industry and within our companies to do more and speak out more on things and spark more conversations and opinions.
“Just look now, I’m very proud of what we’re doing at Mercedes with the Pride star on the car which is the first time I’ve seen that during my time at Mercedes.
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“We have over 100,000 people within Mercedes Benz and creating a more inclusive environment is so important.
“And focusing on creating even better diversity within your organisation and also so important within the sport, it’s moving at a very slow pace, and we need more people to utilise their platform.
“I encourage all of the drivers to be more outspoken in future and speak about things they care about. I’m proud to see what Seb [Vettel] does and to be an ally of his,” Hamilton concluded.
Vettel, who has also been singled out by Ben Sulayem, also commented on the issue.
“The topics that Lewis is continuing to raise, the issues Lando has been talking about and the stuff that I’ve been mentioning, I believe they are topics that are very important to be addressed,” the German said.
“And they are bigger than us, bigger than a sport can ever be. It is important to mention those, express those and to raise awareness to make people aware that there’s still lots of things that we can improve on,” he concluded.