Stunned silence

That is how Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes reacted after Max Verstappen won the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship on the final lap in Abu Dhabi.

This incredible level of competition and commitment – over one of the greatest seasons ever – was always going to trigger intense emotion, as Sunday showed, and Hamilton’s reaction of silence speaks volumes in this video.

 

Ride onboard with the seven-time world champion as he rounds the Yas Marina Circuit, processing the final-lap showdown – with race engineer Pete Bonnington in his ear – which saw him denied the chance to become a record-breaking eight-time world champion.

You have to feel for Lewis, after all he has fought for on and off the track in 2021.

To be beaten in the last lap after racing all season is an extremely hard pill to swallow.

He has said he felt manipulated.

We Race as One

In a sport that is short on diversity Lewis has been pushing for the F1 global audience to address Black Lives Matters with The Formula One grid.

All 20 drivers congregated on the start line before the Austrian Grand Prix, the first race of the season following the three-month delay due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Lewis Hamilton, who has been using his sizable platform to speak out against racial and social injustice, knelt on the front line wearing a Black Lives Matter T-shirt, while the rest of the drivers had “End Racism” written on theirs.

The different stances were particularly stark coming less than two weeks after Formula One launched its “We Race as One” initiative, which is aimed at tackling racism and inequality.

Hamilton Commission

Off the track the F1 superstar commissioned a report to improve diversity in motorsport, calling it the “most valuable thing” he has achieved.

The report, done with the Royal Academy of Engineering, looked at barriers preventing young black people from working in the industry.

Hamilton’s report gave a number of reasons for the lack of diversity, including issues with racism across motorsport.

Underrepresented groups supported include ethnic minorities, women, and those from lower socio-economic backgrounds.

“All of the teams are committed to this, and the work of the Hamilton Commission shows the dedication to addressing these issues across Formula 1,” says Stefano Domenicali F1’s president and CEO.

On the track meanwhile some might say F1, and the FIA Race Director did manipulate Lewis.

However, whatever the final outcome, Lewis handled the post-race interviews with dignity, and therefore Black History Month can say Proud to be…Lewis Hamilton!

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