ewis Hamilton has revealed his nerves when donning anti-racist T-shirts on the Formula One podium – while also feeling a sense of motivation to promote the cause by winning races.
The Brit, 36, has devoted increased time to bringing about equality in his sport and the wider world in recent years, including his decision to wear a shirt that read, ‘Arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor’ at last year’s Tuscan Grand Prix.
Racing at Mugello in Italy later that year, Hamilton wore the shirt on the podium and felt duty-bound to win to best highlight Taylor’s memory – which he did.
“I can’t be second,” he recalled to WSJ Magazine. “I’m wearing that shirt – I’ve got to get to first to bring light to her name.
“I get these nerves like, ‘Shoot, I’m about to break the rules and people aren’t going to be happy with it’. They’ve changed a lot of rules after a lot of things that I’ve done.”
Hamilton continues to fight for greater diversity in F1 having suffered abuse during his career, with one incident in Spain still strong in his memory. A set of fans at the 2008 GP in Barcelona blacked up and wore shirts that read, ‘Hamilton’s family’.
“I remember the pain that I felt that day, but I didn’t say anything about it; I didn’t have anyone,” he said.
“No one said anything. I saw people continuing in my industry and staying quiet.”