GUEST COLUMN: Lewis Hamilton flies the flag of Britain in so many ways

© LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd

By Carol M. Creasey

This year Lewis Hamilton equalled Michael Schumacher by winning his seventh world championship in Turkey. He had already surpassed the German in numbers of race wins and pole positions.

As he approached the checkered flag at the Turkish Grand Prix, he delivered a powerful message to aspiring future drivers by telling them to dream the impossible, just as he had, and by assuring them they could achieve as much as he did.

In subsequent interviews he stated that winning is not the be all and end all of his life, as he has set up the Hamilton Commission, tasked with improving the representation of Black people in UK motorsport.

As well as completing a record breaking year in Formula One, and being recognised by the British Public by winning the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award, ever since the horrific death of George Floyd back in May, he has vociferously supported the Black Live Matter movement. Mercedes have backed him by painting their silver cars black and changing their white overalls to black.

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Lewis has managed to get Formula 1 to include the ‘taking the knee’ gesture in their pre-race ceremonies, and it was performed even when he was forced to miss the Sakhir Grand Prix due to COVID-19.

On multiple occasions Lewis revealed that he was bullied and ridiculed because of his skin colour from a very young age, so his support of the Black Lives Matter movement, and his efforts to educate the world on the necessity for change, come straight from the heart.

The energy that he puts into trying to make things better for others, the way he speaks up about environmental issues and protecting the ozone layer are very inspiring, and although it may not be for everyone, his switch to a plant based diet has clearly worked for him.

During this past year Lewis has posted many messages of encouragement and support on Twitter and Instagram and last week he also relayed telephone numbers for anyone who needs help with their mental health.

Although he has yet to sign a Mercedes contract for next year and beyond, he has stated that he still has more work to do, he isn’t finished yet, both in the car and out of it.

It is no wonder that Lewis achieved global superstar status. He sets a great example to others by showing he can win races without resorting to dubious methods. In addition he has shown that he is a man of action and not just words, somehow finding the time to educate others and help improve lives for those less fortunate.

He has shown himself to be a caring person, in a year that has tested everyone, and should be applauded for it. For all these reasons and more, he has proved himself very worthy of a knighthood and, if it comes to fruition, it would be a wonderful start to a year that we all hope will bring better times for everyone.

Be sure to follow Carol on Twitter @eagertogo and visit her website!

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