So committed to diversity and inclusion, Lewis Hamilton used his summer break in August to explore the African continent. An opportunity for the Mercedes F1 driver to continue his fight, taking time to refocus in the middle of a complex sporting season.
“In life, we tend to take things for granted because they are there. But it puts them in their proper perspective. When I saw the animals in their natural habitat, I was like, “Wow.” When we were in Tanzania it felt like I was in the Lion King in the afternoon, I was going to work out in the gym and there was a zebra or elephants outside I would go back to my room and there were elephants 50 meters away, “Wow”. »
“Africa also has rich cities and big companies, but I really wanted to be in the heart of the continent. I had been to South Africa before, I went on a safari there and met Nelson Mandela and his family. .But I am at a different stage in my life now.”
“I was able to enjoy the experience a lot this time. And it was fun. My friends and I laughed so much, that we even got side stitches, which never happened. Not often at work. So it was very nice. »
Hamilton wants to race in Africa before leaving Formula One
While Stefano Domenicali wants F1 to return to Kyalami in South Africa, Lewis Hamilton is fully backing chief discipline officer.
“We are present on all continents, so why not? We have a lot of places and communities to highlight there, so there’s no reason not to go back to Africa. »
“I am working as hard as possible alongside Stefano behind the scenes to make it happen. It would also be one of my dreams before I quit motorsport, racing in Africa would be great. But my time there, having seen all these kids on the streets, it shows what can be done for all these communities that don’t have the same opportunities that we do, whether it’s clothes or other things, there are a lot of good organizations out there, so I’m looking at how Share. »
Hamilton understands that in his struggle to promote equality and diversity, and while F1 travels to certain countries that do not always respect certain human rights, receiving criticism is unfortunately part of the inevitable.
“I try not to worry about these things because I have no control. Sometimes you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation when you talk about things, it’s definitely not easy. I’m just trying to better understand how I’m going. The point is that you cannot change the world in a short time. So I’m just trying to understand people who have a different culture or religion, and that kind of thing. »
Hamilton depends on the new generation of pilots
At 37, the seven-time world champion knows most of his career is now behind him. Is he afraid to leave his battle after his retirement?
“It’s not easy for the little ones to come. I hope they understand once they reach a certain age. But that wasn’t my case when I was in my twenties and I think it’s part of your journey, so I hope today’s young people speak up in the future because it’s their responsibility. We must make sure that They keep doing the right things for the right reasons.”
But Hamilton is reassuring: once his helmet is hung, he has no intention of giving up the fight.
“I will always be a fan of the sport, even if I no longer race. And I hope Stefano will be here for a very long time. I will keep in touch on the phone to say: ‘Why don’t you do this? You’re not doing enough. So I’ll always be the one that I hope leads to’ Fun conversations.”