F1 legends hit back at Hamilton’s racial activism
"I don’t know what that will do"
Two Formula 1 legends have questioned Lewis Hamilton’s recent racial activism.
At each race so far in 2020, the Mercedes driver has led a line of his colleagues in kneeling in support of the Black Lives Matter political movement, and on the podium last Sunday he even showed a ’Black Power’ fist.
"I have great respect for Lewis, but he was always accepted and respected by the whole world," 1978 world champion Mario Andretti told El Mercurio.
"I think the point of this campaign is pretentious. I am sorry that it seems to be creating a problem that does not exist," he added.
Andretti also questioned the way Mercedes has painted its 2020 car black in support of the fight against racism.
"I don’t know what that will do," said the 80-year-old.
"I have met drivers of all different origins and races and I have always welcomed them with open arms. In motorsports, no matter your colour, you must earn your place with results and that is the same for everyone," Andretti added.
"I wish politics was not mixed with sport. There is a time and a place to voice your opinions but what happened in Nascar with Bubba Wallace turned into something bigger than it should be.
"It was disproportionate and without reason, but that’s what happens when you think about politics before anything else."
Another world champion and F1 legend, triple title winner Sir Jackie Stewart, agrees that the racism problem is "not as big" as Hamilton is making it out to be.
"He’s quite vocal about these elements, but I don’t think there’s as big a problem as there might seem," he told Good Morning Britain.
"There is no resistance for change if someone is clever and good at what they do. They will be accepted in Formula 1," said Stewart.
add_circle Mercedes denies ’bringing politics into F1’
add_circle Wolff denies Ineos to buy Mercedes for $900m
More on Mercedes