Very committed to diversity and inclusion, Lewis Hamilton took advantage of the August summer break to explore the African continent. The opportunity for the Mercedes F1 driver to continue his fight, while taking the time to refocus in the middle of a complicated sporting season.
« In life, we tend to take things for granted because they are there. But it puts them into perspective. Seeing the animals in their natural habitat, I was like ‘wow’. When we were in Tanzania, I felt like i was in the lion king in the afternoon i would work out in the gym and there were zebras or elephants outside i would go back to my room and there was elephants 50 meters away, ‘wow’. »
“Africa also has wealthy cities and big businesses, but I really wanted to be in the heart of the continent. I had been to South Africa before, gone on safari there and met Nelson Mandela and his family. . But I’ve reached a different stage in my life now. »
« I was able to enjoy the experience a lot more this time. And it was fun. My friends and I laughed a lot, to the point of having side stitches, which never happens. not often at work. So it was very nice. »
Hamilton wants to race in Africa before leaving F1
While Stefano Domenicali wants F1 to return to Kyalami in South Africa, Lewis Hamilton fully supports the CEO of the discipline.
« We are present on all continents, so why not? We have a lot of places and communities to highlight there, so there is no reason not to return to Africa. »
« I’m working as hard as I can alongside Stefano behind the scenes to make that happen. It would also be one of my dreams before I quit motorsport, racing in Africa would be great. But my time spent there, having seen all these children on the streets, it demonstrates what can be done for all these communities that do not have the same opportunities as us, whether it is clothing or other things, there are a lot of good organizations out there, so I’m looking at how I can get involved. »
Hamilton recognizes that in his fight to promote equality and diversity, and while F1 travels to certain countries that are not always respectful of certain human rights, receiving criticism is unfortunately part of the inevitable elements.
« I try not to worry about these things because I have no control. You sometimes find yourself in an uncomfortable situation when you talk about things, it’s certainly not easy. I’m just trying to understand better how does the place I go to. The point is you can’t change the world in a short time. So I’m just trying to be understanding of people with a different culture or religion, and that sort of thing. »
Hamilton counts on the new generation of pilots
At 37, the seven-time world champion knows that most of his career is now behind him. Does he fear that his fight will be abandoned once he retires?
« It’s not easy for the younger ones coming in. I hope once they get to a certain age they’ll understand. But that wasn’t my case when I was in my twenties and I think it’s part of your journey, so I hope that the young people of today will speak out in the future because it’s their responsibility. We must ensure that they continue to do the right things to the right reasons. »
But Hamilton to reassure: once his helmet hung up, he does not intend to give up the fight.
« I will always be a fan of the sport, even if I don’t race anymore. And I hope Stefano will still be here for a very long time. I will keep in touch on the phone to say: ‘Why don’t you do this? You don’t ‘don’t do enough’. So I’ll always be the one who hopefully leads to interesting conversations. »