Did the Mercedes driver premeditate his gesture by meeting the two athletes before this Grand Prix (they are now 76 and 75 years old)? Apparently not. But whatever it is, he says he will never forget this political and symbolic gesture.
“Of course, I remember seeing this iconic image of their salvation. “
“It inspired me. Racism is something that has existed for hundreds of years and the fight continues. ”
“When you have icons, people like that who stood up against this battle, I find it inspiring. I realized that I have this platform, I have the opportunity to continue to raise awareness and try to unite people. I try to educate myself, but also to educate others. ”
“This is really where it comes from. I felt it was the right time, an important moment for me. I will never forget this moment. ”
Mercedes, to add to the symbol, had then invited to the podium Stephanie Travers, track engineer at Mercedes, more specifically assigned to the relationship with Petronas – the first black woman to stand on an F1 podium.
Lewis Hamilton of course appreciated this gesture straight from Toto Wolff, and which is added to the newly black livery of Mercedes F1.
“I was very grateful to the team. I thought it was really important to highlight this moment, given that in 70 years of Formula 1, we didn’t have a black woman on the podium. “
“I just wanted to congratulate her and the team for recognizing the importance of this moment and making it happen. ”
Beyond these symbols, Lewis Hamilton now wants to take action to bring more diversity, especially female, in motor sport.
“When we talk about diversity, it doesn’t just mean race. It is a sport dominated by men and particularly a sport dominated by white men. It really has to change and come from above. There must be more women in this sport. And to do that, you need people like Steff, who inspire young children, who one day will want to be here. “
“If I weren’t there, I don’t know how well this sport would react in the present day, but the fact is that I am and we are. And I think people take note of it, which is great. ”
“I think we really need to act. There must be so many people of all races and religions who want to work in this sport, there are so many roles and positions in this sport. “