Lewis Hamilton Opens Up About His ‘Lonely Journey’ Through F1 – Sports Illustrated

Ahead of the first ever F1 Grand Prix in Miami, Lewis Hamilton used his platform in front of an American audience to open up about his efforts to improve diversity in the sport.
Speaking on Good Morning America Monday, the Mercedes driver spoke about his “lonely journey” throughout his career in F1. Hamilton, who is Black, explained that during his time as a professional, he often found himself to be the only person of color on the track or in the garage.
“It’s been generally quite a lonely journey. It’s just been my and my family, we’re the only Black family [in F1],” Hamilton said. “I’ve been racing 29 years, I’m 37 now. I’ve been a professional for 16 years, but most often I’m the only person of color in the room.”
Hamilton continued, saying that the lack of diversity in F1 led him to create the “Hamilton Commission”, which seeks to address the underrepresentation of Black people in UK motorsport. He also began “Mission44” with a goal to “support, champion and empower young people from underrepresented groups in the UK to succeed.”
“It starts with education and understanding,” Hamilton explained. “We have put together this body of research to try and understand what those barriers are. We found that not only in our industry, where we have over 40,000 jobs but only 1% come from Black backgrounds, but that there are real systemic issues within the educational system as well. The Hamilton Commission has now started Mission44 which I’ve funded myself to try and create more representation, support and empowerment for these young, under-served groups.”
A seven-time World Champion, Hamilton currently trails Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc by 58 points after four rounds of the 2022 campaign. The Mercedes driver will have the opportunity to make up ground this Sunday when the Miami Grand Prix gets underway at 3:30 p.m. ET.
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