World Hamilton's brother warns: "If he goes, who do we look up to?"
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A resignation of Lewis Hamilton would not only be a loss for Formula 1 from a sporting point of view - brother Nicolas fears for the diversity of the premier class
Lewis Hamilton is at the zenith of his career. In this Formula 1 season he is driving towards his seventh world title and is well on the way to catching up with record holder Michael Schumacher. But if Hamilton one day resigns, he will not only be remembered for his successes on the track.
This season he is involved like no other in the fight against racism and for more diversity - in society as well as in sport. To this end, the 35-year-old Brit founded his own commission, initiated the "End Racism" protest before every race and took the floor for the good cause in other ways.
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's brother Nicolas Hamilton, himself a driver in the British Touring Car Championship, fears that this is exactly what Formula 1 will lack when the world champion retires. And that it's not just sport that will suffer.Hamilton brother calls for more equal opportunities
"At the moment, motorsport is viewed as an industry that is difficult to come into contact with," he says in an interview with ''. "You don't know where to go to get an opportunity. You don't see any or very few black faces
View this post on InstagramA post shared by Lewis Hamilton (@lewishamilton) on Sep 13, 2020 at 9:45 am PDT
"When he's gone, who will you look up to? Who will you see?" Nicolas Hamilton wonders. "There aren't many people, not even women. Women love cars just as much as men do. So there's no reason why they shouldn't have equal opportunities in this sense as well."
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Formula 1, for its part, wants to take countermeasures with a "task force". It is intended to ensure "that we give people from all backgrounds the best opportunities to work in Formula 1, regardless of gender, ethnic origin, sexual orientation or physical abilities," says a statement.
"Back then, motorsport didn't do enough"An important step for Nicolas Hamilton. He recalls: "We fought as a black family, we received a lot of racist abuse. (...) There are very few colored people in motorsport, and when there are colored people, you sometimes see a lot of racism." His brother found out about it too. Nicolas Hamilton sits in his brother’s Formula 1 car in 2007 Photo:
Motorsport ImagesDuring a test session in Barcelona in 2008, a group of spectators wore black faces, curly wigs and T-shirts that read "Hamilton's Family". The FIA then initiated the anti-racism campaign EveryRace.
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A similar incident occurred at the Spanish Grand Prix the following year. "At the time, yes, motorsport didn't do enough back then," says Nicolas Hamilton, looking back, "but now it's starting, which is a good thing." However, from his point of view, efforts should not concentrate solely on the issue of racism.
Not just for black people: F1 needs to become more openThe 28-year-old suffers from cerebral palsy and drives a modified car in the BTCC. He wants Formula 1 to be more accessible for people with disabilities: "I would like people in wheelchairs to have access to the race track and the racing cars, regardless of whether they are mechanics, engineers or aerodynamicists." "Maybe you come from a different environment, have never been able to walk ... That's fine, but you can still pursue your dream of being a mechanic or whatever, in an industry that is getting started once as difficult for them. I'd like to see that, "says Nicolas Hamilton. With images from
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Jay knew he was different from a young age and when adolescence hit, his increasingly feminine body did not match the identity he was growing into. At the same time, the broader system needs to change, given that transgender identities are increasingly politicised, debated and scrutinised, he said. "They are invalidated and these messages are quite pervasive and... transcend into people working within the NHS," he added.