Lewis Hamilton talks women in F1 and his ‘Black Power salute’

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

After winning the Styrian Grand Prix Lewis Hamilton performed the ‘Black Power salute’, as another gesture in his fight against racial injustice.

The raised clenched fist salute was famously performed by American sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos in the 1968 Olympics. Hamilton describes how that iconic image inspired him.

“I remember seeing and reading about their experience and seeing the iconic image of their salute,” said the Briton.

“That was inspiring for me. Racism is something that has been around for hundreds of years and the fight continues.

“When you’ve got icons, people like that who have stood up against this battle, I just find it inspiring.

“I just took a page out of their book, realising I have this platform, I have this opportunity to continue to raise awareness, and to try and unite people. To try and educate myself, but also educate other people.

“That was really where it came from. It felt like the right moment, it felt an important moment for me. I’ll never forget that moment.”

Recently on his Instagram Hamilton decided to highlight the moment when Mercedes’ trackside engineer Stephanie Travers became the first black woman to stand on an F1 podium, after the team’s Styrian Grand Prix win. The six-time champion explains his move and calls for more women in Formula 1.

“I was very grateful to the team. I thought it was really important to highlight that moment, being in that in 70 years of Formula 1 they’ve not had a black woman stand up there.

“I just really wanted to give praise to her and the team for acknowledging the importance of the moment and making sure that it happened.”

“When we talk about diversity, that doesn’t just mean race. It is a male-dominated sport and particularly a white male-dominated sport.

“It really needs to shift and it has to come from the top. There needs to be more women in this sport. And how we do that, it’s having people like Steff up there inspiring young kids, who one day will want to be here.

“If I wasn’t here I don’t know how much this sport would be reacting to the current times, but the fact is I am and we are. And I think that people are taking note which is great.

“I think we’ve just really got to take action. There must be so many people from all races and religion that want to work in this sport, there’s so many roles.

“Just across the board we need to do more to make it more open and more accessible. When you hear people say it’s so accessible to everyone, there’s a few older figures who have been saying this.

“It’s absolute rubbish and that’s what we’ve got to change,” concluded Hamilton.

Source: Sky Sports F1

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