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Hamilton is as determined to smash racism as he’s done with world records

The first and only black Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton is a lone crusader in dismantling the stubborn and deliberate systems that prevent diversity in the sport
Thu, Oct 22, 2020

Hamilton won't stop winning... and fighting for justice. PHOTO: Gallo Images

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Lewis Hamilton is simply the best… of all time, on top of being the greatest of all time. The BOAT and the GOAT, and I'll tell you why.

Lewis Hamilton not only equalled Michael Schumacher's long-standing record of 91 wins by claiming victory at the recent Eifel Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, it's now only a matter of time before he equals the German legend's tally of seven world titles when this season reaches its conclusion.

However, records don't define Lewis Hamilton – he is also the most vocal advocate for diversity in Formula One.

After 14 years in the sport, change could not have come sooner for Hamilton, who has been subjected to all manner of micro-aggressions during the course of his über successful career. He has faced constant attempts to diminish his greatness, claims that he only wins because he drives the best car, or disparaging comments about his off-track behaviour or appearance – that fossil Bernie Ecclestone once quipped he "doesn't dress like a racer" (whatever that means). Hamilton remains the first and only black man to race in F1. And he's the best to ever do it… That's why they're so mad.

The six-time world champion plans to be a thorn at the side of the establishment long after his driving career is over – vowing to "increase the number of black people" in motorsports.

In June, he launched The Hamilton Commission, a research initiative that will unearth some of the barriers facing young black people seeking STEM careers in motorsport, to provide actionable solutions to increase diversity and representation.

Hamilton said at the launch event: "In F1, our teams are much more than the athletes that front them, but representation is insufficient across every skill set – from the garage to the engineers in the factories and design departments."

The Hamilton Commission held the first meeting of its board of commissioners, which includes former McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh and former UK minister of sports Tracey Crouch on 1 September.

F1 had resolved to make changes to their culture as well as representation in the sport, but something tells me Hamilton isn't buying the platitudinous gestures.

As a victim of white supremacy for more than two decades in motorsports, Lewis Hamilton is taking a stand and I fully support him. If the whole world agrees that racism is wrong, and we are all united in ridding the world of the scourge of white supremacy, why then does it still linger? What's taking so long? Why are we still talking about 'the first black' anything?

Unlike most of your 'favourites', Lewis Hamilton intends to make the circle bigger, bigger, bigger. He is not only diagnosing the challenges facing black people in motorsport, he is resolving them!

When he finally retires with both the most wins and world championships, what would define his legacy is if there were more black drivers in the sport, or more black pit crew members, maybe some black commentators.

Thanks to the Hamilton Commission, this is no longer just a pipe dream. This is why he is simply the best.

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