F1’s initiatives to promote inclusion and diversity within the sport do not go far enough, says Hamilton, who wants to see genuine action taken rather than a simple slogan
Lewis Hamilton called on Formula 1 chiefs to take action on diversity within the sport as their current We Race As One initiative is “just words”.
The Brit remains the sport’s only black racer, while it is widely accepted that there is too little diversity within the paddock in general. We Race As One was launched in 2020 by the sport’s bosses with the aim of promoting greater inclusion.
Every driver on the grid contributed to a video that would be played before every race, while there was also a scheduled moment just before the national anthem for the drivers to take a knee. But that was stopped ahead of the current season with F1 now looking at other ways to push for more diversity.
It is hot topic of conversation at the moment, in the wake of a race weekend where there were many reports of racism, sexism and homophobia from some spectators at the Red Bull Ring. F1 released a statement condemning such behaviour after speaking with the promotor of the Austrian Grand Prix.
Hamilton, who has regularly used his platform and wealth to promote social equality, said he was “disgusted” by those reports. Asked after the race what he feels the sport should do to change the situation, he suggested that action is far more important than words will ever be.
“I’ve not given huge amount of thought in terms of coming up with solutions for what the sport should do,” he said. “It goes back to some of the messaging we talked about in terms of the stuff we also need to do here within the sport, which is commit more to diversity and inclusion within our industry.
“That then reflects the direction we are going in and it also often reflects what our fanbase looks like. It’s time for action. We Race As One was all good and well, but it was just words. It didn’t actually do anything. There was no funding towards anything, no programme to actually create change and spark that conversation.
“So we definitely need to utilise our platforms, as I just mentioned, but we really have to step up and actually really start actioning some of the things we are saying. Just saying ‘it’s not good enough, it’s unacceptable’ is not enough.”