Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton will again wear his Progress Pride helmet during the Formula 1 Grand Prix this weekend, to draw attention to LGBTQ+ intolerance in Saudi Arabia, two weeks after he wore the same helmet in Qatar.
Hamilton has said he does not feel comfortable about racing in Saudi Arabia’s Grand Prix this weekend, as he expressed concern about human rights in the kingdom.
The 36-year-old said he had received a warm welcome on arrival, but felt “duty-bound” to speak out amid human rights groups accusing Saudi Arabia of using the event to distract from scrutiny about its abuses.
He also said the Liberty Media-owned sport needed to do more before adding he will wear the same Progress Pride helmet he wore at last month’s Qatar Grand Prix, in order to draw attention to LGBTQ+ intolerance.
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“If anyone wants to take the time to read what the law is for the LGBT+ community, it is pretty terrifying and there are changes that need to be made, for example, women’s rights and being able to drive in 2018 — it is how they are policed.
“Are they really in effect? Why are some of the women still in prison from driving many, many years ago? There is a lot of change that needs to happen and our sport needs to do more.”
“Do I feel comfortable here? I wouldn’t say that I do,” Hamilton said.
“But it’s not my choice to be here. The sport has taken the choice to be here.
“So there’s a lot of changes that need to happen and I think our sport needs to do more.”
Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali said the sport can help bring change.
“As soon as these countries choose to be under the spotlight Formula 1 is bringing, there is no excuse,” he said to Sky Sports.
“They have taken the route of a change.”
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Other drivers were also vocal on the issue of human rights. Mick Schumacher wore a rainbow wristband and posted an image of him on Instagram with a rainbow t-shirt while Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel wore shoes sporting a rainbow stripe. The German arrived in the paddock fresh from a karting event for Saudi women yesterday morning, which he described as “memorable” and “inspiring”.
Others like Lando Norris have shied away from the open support of Lewis Hamilton, saying it is something that only a 7 times world champion can do.
“I try and do what I can and I’ll stand by him and stuff like that but I’m at such an early point in my career, there’s a lot of focus on doing my own things but when there is an opportunity to stand by and agree on subjects and points then I will agree to stand him when I believe that is correct.”
Last Updated on Dec 3, 2021
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