Tom Cruise and Keanu Reeves were in attendance at the British GP

Tom Cruise and Keanu Reeves have a strong passion for F1

By: Jake Rajala

The Top Gun legend, Tom Cruise (who just turned 60 years old on July 3rd), brought a lot of energy to the British GP this past weekend. He picked the legendary British GP (which has a rich history) to celebrate his 60th birthday. In particular, Cruise wanted to have a lively weekend with none other than Lewis Hamilton (as they could be seen hugging after Hamilton’s impressive third-place finish).

Cruise has been an intense fan of F1 for quite some time. Red Bull even offered him a ride and he happily accepted. David Coulthard gave him a few pointers, as well. In Dinoco-like fashion, he also took a ride in their helicopter. It should be noted that the fictional pilot and super-hero wasn’t the only A-list actor at the British GP.

Keanu Reeves, also known as John Wick or the hero in the Matrix, was also a spectator at the racing event. Although, Reeves had a bit of business on his mind at the race. The actor that recently made the Top 100 list of Time is currently working on documentaries about the 2009 F1 season. With that said, it was obvious that he enjoyed the experience and mystical weather conditions. Per Sky Sports, he stated, “It was absolutely amazing to be that close. Silverstone and rain, Perfect. I think being that close to it, just seeing the speed and the way that they’re going at the turns and exiting the turns is something unbelievable”.

There have been countless celebrities at Formula 1 events. People like George Lucas (the mind behind Star Wars) and Leonard DiCaprio (actor in Titanic and the Aviator) have expressed their love for F1. It’s safe to say that Cruise and Reeves can be added to the list of Hollywood personas that have hung out with F1 teams. It will be exciting to see which celebrities have a blast at an F1 event next.

3 winners and 3 losers from the British GP

Who are the biggest losers from the British GP?

By: Jake Rajala

The 2022 British Grand Prix delivered excitement, scare, and surprises. With that said, I’m going to simply untwine three winners and three losers from the British GP on Sunday morning.

Winner: Lewis Hamilton

The F1 poster boy and British GP legend, Lewis Hamilton, had a poetic finish in his beloved British race. Charles Leclerc was slightly ahead of Hamilton on lap 48, but Hamilton nicely passed Leclerc on the same lap and kept his third-place spot the rest of the race. Hamilton also had the fastest lap (1:30.510) at the British GP. He is certainly making progress on his Mercedes teammate in the F1 standings.

Winner: Mick Schumacher

I recently expressed how the 23-year-old Mick Schumacher needed to show more potential moving forward. Well, it’s clear that Schumacher had a promising day (8th place) at the British GP — as he scored his first-ever F1 points at British GP. Per ESPN, Schumacher stated, “Finally, I told you guys it was this weekend! Oh my god, you guys are brilliant”. Schumacher’s teammate in Sebastian Vettel also had points (as he finished one spot after him).

Winner: Carlos Sainz Jr.

Carlos Sainz Jr. had the best position to start the race and he continued to dazzle at the GP — as he placed first at the GP. It was safe to say that the Ferrari driver made Luigi proud throughout the entire weekend. It wasn’t only his first win in the season, but it was his first career victory. He also placed second at the Canadian GP and second at the Monaco GP. Sainz Jr. is certainly making Leclerc nervous at this point in the season.

Loser: Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen, who took first place at the Baku GP and the Canadian GP, appeared to be unstoppable entering this weekend. Well, it’s safe to say that he had an extremely disappointing finish at the British GP — as he finished seventh at the British GP. It was reported by Motor Sport that an endplate from an Alpha Tauri front wing significantly derailed the team’s chances on lap 11. The less inspiring cherry on top for Verstappen is that Sergio Perez finished second.

Loser: George Russell

George Russell was involved in the nightmare-like crash that witnessed Zhou Guanyu flip over a barrier. Luckily, Zhou is A-okay and he expressed that the Halo saved him. Prior to the British GP, Russell ousted a Top-5 finish in each GP since the Abu Dhabi GP. Russell is still at the Top-5 of the F1 standings, but he needs to bounce back to a podium soon.

Loser: Valtteri Bottas

Valtteri Bottas certainly took a step back at the British GP (DNF). Bottas was glorified for leading Hamilton in a Silverstone practice, but he didn’t taste success near Hamilton at the race. It was his worst outcome since the Saudi Arabian GP. Bottas and his teammate that dodged a bullet (Zhou) will aspire to have a stronger performance at the Austrian GP.

Does George Russell have a real chance at winning the Championship?

The latest outlook for George Russell

By: Daniel Murray-Smith

It is well documented to all just how well George Russell has been performing in his Mercedes this season.

Not only has he been consistently beating 7-time world champion, Lewis Hamilton, in practice, qualifying and races but he has also finished in the top five in every single race this season.

Due to this impressive start to the season, he has racked up 111 points so far. This is 34 points ahead of Hamilton and also surprisingly puts him 9 points ahead of Carlos Sainz in the much faster Ferrari.

At the start of the season, there was a lot of hype around a championship battle between Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc, with Mercedes falling out of the equation since their car was quite significantly slower.

However, due to Russell’s ability to drag a car up to places where it seems like it shouldn’t quite be, he is now lurking only 15 points behind Leclerc.

To be very honest, Max Verstappen, at this moment in time, could well be running away with the championship. He is 46 points ahead of his teammate in second and 49 points ahead of Leclerc but there are still reasons for the young brit in the Mercedes to stay hopeful.

Firstly, the Mercedes team’s reliability has been far superior to both the teams ahead of them in the standings. Ferrari has suffered 7 DNFs and Red Bull has had 4 throughout the season, the team from Brackley, on the other hand, hasn’t had any thus far.

This means that if Russell can keep finishing in the top five as he has for the whole of the season, then an interesting scenario could develop if the top teams keep having mechanical failures. He would be able to keep chipping away at Verstappen’s lead in the championship, overtaking the others in the process.

This of course depends on mistakes from other teams which is never the ideal way to pull yourself into a championship battle but it is definitely not completely out of the picture.

However, there is another way that Russell could still be involved in a championship fight and this is down to the team themselves.

Mercedes have struggled with porpoising from the start of the season, this is when the car bounces up and down when at its highest speeds. The alternative is to run a lower downforce setting which gives less stability in the corners.

So, if Mercedes can figure out a way to sort this and find a balance between little to no porpoising while still having stability in the corners they could supply their drivers with a faster car, capable of challenging the top teams for pole positions and race wins.

Before being labeled as Mr. Consistent at Mercedes, Russell was referred to as Mr. Saturday when he was driving an incredibly slow Williams car, somehow managing to pull it up the order in qualifying, even reaching the top 10 on a couple of occasions.

This bodes well for him if he gets to drive in a fast, competitive car. You can imagine a scenario where the man from King’s Lynn is always there or thereabouts at the very top end of qualifying, giving him the best possible chance in the race on Sunday. 

A George Russell championship charge is still very unlikely but Mercedes is a top-tier team that operates at the peak of engineering so provided they keep their car reliable and continue bringing in upgrades it is certainly still a possibility.

Lewis Hamilton returns to the podium

Lewis Hamilton places third in the Canadian GP

By: Jake Rajala

The Lebron James of Formula 1, also known as Lewis Hamilton, returned to the podium today. Of course, the F1 leader Max Verstappen took first place in the GP. After Verstappen, Carlos Sainz Jr. placed second in the GP (which was his same spot in Monaco). Well, Hamilton showed signs of life in this F1 season – as took third place (and he sits sixth in overall standings).

Hamilton’s teammate George Russell finished a spot after him today. Although, it was only the second time that he finished behind Hamilton this season. He currently sits fourth in the standings. It’s clear that there’s a new positive vibe with Hamilton, Russell, and Mercedes.

The CEO of the team spoke positively regarding Mercedes’s outcome.

Per BBC, Toto Wolff stated, “We were off the pace on Friday and we were good in the wet, respectable. Today at times we were with the quickest cars. In the second stint, Lewis and George were almost matching the front-runners on some laps.”

According to Express, Russell felt that he could have been third or fourth if he didn’t take a gamble on dry tyres. Perhaps Russell will carry a chip on his shoulder against his buddy leading up to the British GP.

Hamilton’s energy should only elevate after he returns home on July 3rd for the Silverstone Circuit. Hamilton finished first in each British GP from 2019 to 2021. He will certainly anticipate having a bit of magic left for his strong home crowd.

Top 3 moments of the F1 season at this point

By: Leona Stewart

  1. The return of K-Mag

After a controversial return to F1 and Haas following the removal of Russian driver Nikita Mazepin, Kevin Magnussen got a warm welcome in the Haas garage. 

After a year of poor finishes for the team and landing at the bottom of the pack, K-Mag provided an exciting amount of hope for the struggling American team.

With the quick Ferrari engine in the back, Magnussen has helped to put Haas back into the fight for the best of the rest.

Dragging the Haas into Q3 for the first time since 2019 in Bahrain, Magnussen was creating excitement from the start, providing delight to all with the formerly competitive Haas back. 

A P5 finish on his first race and a further two points finishes so far, Kevin Magnussen’s return has certainly been one of the most welcome surprises so far. 

  1. Vettel/Hamilton FIA protests

During the hotly anticipated Miami Grand Prix, the two most outspoken drivers on the grid, Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel, were at it again.

We saw four time champ, Vettel, parade the paddock with grey boxers over his race suit, along with a beaming smile. His protest was for the FIA ruling of scrutinising the drivers underwear, which he branded “unnecessary”, which he also believes was aimed at Lewis Hamilton. 

Hamiltons protest, which was with regards to the jewellery ban, was also suggested to be personal.

The seven time world champ could be seen wearing excessive jewellery and watches in the paddock, claiming that certain piercings could not be removed. 

The FIA has not spoken much about the issue, but fans found it funny. 

Of course, it is not the first time that the pair have clashed over appearances with the FIA and certainly won’t be the last.   

Hamilton wore a Breonna Taylor shirt in an anti-racism display before and after a September 2020 victory at Mugello. While Vettel was reprimanded for wearing a ‘Same Love’ shirt during the Hungarian anthem in 2021. 

  1. Perez Monaco win

Perez’ win in Monaco was undoubtedly an emotional and unforgettable moment for fans. 

His first race win of the season, and the confirmation of a future in Red Bull, made Checo  the most successful Mexican driver in history, and it appears to be the start of an exciting season.

Now sitting second in the drivers championship, only one race win away from the lead, ahead of his team mate Max Verstappen, Perez’ win in Monte Carlo has put him right in the middle of a three-way title fight, between his teammate and  Charles Leclerc.

While Verstappen is the golden boy of Red Bull, and the reigning world champion, Christian Horner has confirmed that as long as the pair are fair and leave space, they will be allowed to fight for the championship. Which with the Ferrari duo in the mix, and George Russell hot on their heels, it certainly will be exciting.

Lewis Hamilton is an honorary citizen of Brazil

By: Leona Stewart

Sir Lewis Hamilton. An honorary Brazilian citizen. 

On Thursday Lewis Hamilton was made an honorary citizen of Brazil following the lower house of parliament passing a motion. 

Hamilton who has been left ‘speechless’ following the gesture claimed he had no knowledge of it happening. 

The motion was proposed by congressman Andre Figueiredo, after Lewis’ win at last year’s Brazilian Grand Prix where he proudly paraded the Brazilian flag. 

In April last year, the seven-time world champion visited Sao Paulo to deliver a business and transformation speech, where he said he would be honoured to be considered a Brazilian citizen. 

Lewis Hamilton has had a long connection with the country after ever idolizing the legendary Ayrton Senna, who himself was from Brazil. And of course, won his first-ever championship there in 2008. 

After already being knighted in his own country, Sir Lewis Hamilton is now an Honorary Brazilian citizen who has the respect of a country that he treasures dearly. 

“I don’t really have the words right now” he admits on Instagram: “Thank you Brasil, I love you, i can’t wait to see you again”.

A date is yet to be set, but the lower house will hold a solemn session to give Hamilton his citizen, which is sure to be an emotional moment.

Congressman Jhonatan de Jesus of the Republicans party said: “His public positions in support of relevant issues such as the environment, animal rights, Black people, women, and human rights must also be remembered and highlighted”. 

5 highest paid F1 drivers

Who is really the highest paid F1 driver?

By: Jake Rajala

The intense Formula 1 sport doesn’t pump out hundreds of top-tier athletes, but they do showcase many, very wealthy athletes. With that said, there is a question that many F1 fans and sports fans have in regard to F1 drivers: who are the highest-paid F1 drivers? Well, I’m going to untwine the five highest-paid F1 drivers.

  1. Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton is unequivocally the golden boy in F1 and he is arguably the best F1 driver of all time. It’s obvious that Hamilton is taken care of by Red Bull, as he is paid $50.4 million per season. The mythical sports figure earns more big bucks than other premier athletes that he hangs around.

  1. Max Verstappen

The 24 year old F1 driver Max Verstappen recently inked a fat contract (March) and earns the same $ per season as Hamilton, per Essentially Sports. Verstappen is proving every penny of his contract this season (first place in standings).

2. Fernando Alonso

The 40-year-old F1 driver Fernando Alonso hasn’t been exactly like a fine wine this season, as he sits at 13th overall in the standings. Hamilton and Fernando aren’t living up to expectations, to say the least.

2. Lando Norris

The shiny 22-year-old Lando Norris has a lot of potential in the eyes of Mclaren, as he is getting a fancy $20 per season contract. Norris and Alonso reel in the same earnings.

3. Sebastian Vettel

The German racer Sebastian Vettel has found success in the league, but he currently sits with 5 pts on the season (15th). Vettel will really aspire to bounce back in 2023.

3. Daniel Ricciardo

McLaren has expressed their patience for Daniel Riccardio, as Autosport has pointed out. The 32-year-old driver reels in $15 million per season.

F1 throwback: Monaco 21

By: Sam Moores

It’s that time of the year again, late May, traditionally when the Monaco Grand Prix is held. The original street race in the Principality is home to a stunning marina, and one of the most iconic weekends on the sporting calendar. 

Friday saw this year’s Monaco Grand Prix weekend get underway, with the race on Sunday, how fitting would it be to go back and re-live last year’s race?

2021 was the first race in the country in two years, after an absence in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It was a great welcome back to F1 for Monaco, but this iconic race will be remembered for everything but the racing. 

It was the fifth weekend of the season, a season which looked at that point to be heading towards a Lewis Hamilton championship win. His eighth.

The Brit had just won his 3rd race of the season in Spain, whilst his main title rival Max Verstappen had won just the one in Imola, the second race of the season. He had a 14 point lead on the Dutchman heading into that weekend.

Ferrari were the talking point of Friday’s practice sessions however, as they looked to have one of the fastest packages of any team on the grid. It was the first time they’d been that high on the timesheets on a Friday since 2019. That was down to their car’s strong point, low-speed corners. 

And we all know that there are plenty of those in Monaco.

Qualifying

Mick Schumacher had a huge crash in FP3 on Saturday, one that ruled him out of qualifying that afternoon. He lost the rear of the car at the corner of Casino Square. Luckily he was okay to race on Sunday.

Qualifying in Monaco is the most important Saturday of the season, as due to the lack of overtaking on the track, it plays a huge part in the race result on Sunday.

Due to the nature of the track, it’s also one of the most difficult Saturdays of the season for the drivers. Anything can happen as the track temperature gets warmer and warmer, cars are setting their fastest laps all over the place. One mistake and you can be punished, even more so than anywhere else.

 

After Q1, the eliminated drivers were Mick Schumacher (non-participant), and Nikita Mazepin in the Haas, and Nicholas Latifi in the Williams from 20th to 18th. Fernando Alonso, and Yuki Tsunoda perhaps more surprisingly were in 17th and 16th in the Alpine and Alpha Tauri. Tsunoda was struggling with the Alpha Tauri at the time, but it still had pace, Alonso on the other hand, was caught out, and couldn’t put the lap time together when it mattered.

 

Mr Saturday struck once again, getting that Williams into Q2. Sadly for George Russell, he could only manage P15 in that session. Kimi Raikonnen and Lance Stroll were to line up in front of him in 13th and 14th respectively. Daniel Ricciardo could only manage to qualify in P12, in one of a fair few disappointing Saturday performances over his time at Mclaren, an unfortunate day for the man who’d won the race in 2018. Esteban Ocon would line up next to him in 11th, whilst you have to admire the performance from Antonio Giovinazzi, putting the Alfa in Q3!

The top-10 shootout of Qualifying 3 in Monaco is more of a normal Q3 session, as there’s less time to prepare for a lap. The teams only normally get two or three push laps. After the first runs, it was the hometown hero Charles Leclerc on provisional pole, 2 tenths faster than anyone else.

Max Verstappen was behind him in P2, whilst the Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas was two-hundredths of a second behind him in 3rd. Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris, in the other Ferrari and Mclaren, made up the top 5. Those two were actually two hundredths behind Bottas. That’s what you get with a circuit as short as Monaco, tiny margins. Pierre Gasly, Sebastian Vettel and Antonio Giovinazzi topped off their impressive qualifying sessions with a provisional P6, P8 and P10 placing.

Lewis Hamilton and Sergio Perez, much like Alonso couldn’t put a lap together on the first run, sitting 7th and 9th respectively. Unfortunately for them, that’s where they’d remain as well, as the session was red-flagged just as everyone was attempting their second and final push lap. That was due to the provisional pole sitter Charles Leclerc having crashed at the swimming pool chicane. Was it intentional? We’ll never know.

Leclerc hit the wall on the exit of turn 14 and went straight over the chicane that was to follow, and into the wall in front of him at turn 17, damaging his front wing and the structure of the car. That meant he was on pole for the race, but whether he’d be able to start there or not was a different question. 

The Race

Ferrari believed that they’d repaired Charles’ car in time and that it was good to go to start from pole in the race on Sunday afternoon, sending him out to the grid when the pit lane exit opened. On the way out to the grid, we heard the Monegasque driver come on the radio and express concern with “No!, the gearbox guys.” Leclerc made his way to the pitlane to see if there was anything they could do to fix the issue, even if meant they’d have to start from the pitlane, but what actually turned out to be a drive shaft problem wouldn’t be repaired in time. 

 

So unfortunately for Charles’ his Monaco curse continued and he would not start the race. He’s never finished a race in his place of birth, never.

That meant that Max Verstappen would line up alone on the front row, with Bottas to the right and behind him, with nothing but turn 1 in his field of vision. 

Strategy wise, the top 10 all had their used softs from Q2 to start, as was the rule at the time, the two Haas drivers joined them on that tyre. Lance Stroll and Yuki Tsunoda opted for the hards, whilst the rest of the grid was on the medium tyre. 

As the five red lights went out it was Valterri Bottas who got the better getaway, but Verstappen was quick to put an end to that, aiming his steering wheel directly to the right from the very start to cover off the Mercedes driver into turn 1. That caused the Finn to lock up.

Daniel Ricciardo’s misfortunes got worse as he lost two places at the start to Stroll and Raikonnen. Meanwhile, Fernando Alonso made up for Saturday’s misfortune by getting past Russell and Latifi who themselves overtook Yuki Tsunoda on the race start.

Unfortunately for us, there wasn’t really much to scream about for the first 20 laps or so, as is usually the case when racing around Monte Carlo. We saw Bottas remaining around 2 seconds, sometimes over, sometimes under, behind Max in the Red Bull, but unable to really build on that with how hard it was to follow under the previous regulations.

There was one overtake though, just the one, but it was an interesting one as it involved two teammates. Mick Schumacher of Haas was closing on his teammate who was really struggling all weekend with a position swap likely incoming. Young Schumacher instead decided to deal with things himself, sending his VF-21 down the inside of his teammate at the iconic hairpin on Lap 3.

By Lap 20 Valterri had lost the race leader and was starting to struggle on his tyres that took a beating on the opening lap. Carlos Sainz, who was encouraged on the radio to go get him, was lapping way faster. Shortly after, he was on the back of the race leader. Sainz got to within a second and a half, but as you’d expect it came to nothing with the limitations of the circuit.

Lewis Hamilton was the first car to come in on Lap 30, trying to undercut Pierre Gasly in the Alpha Tauri. Lewis would need to nail his out lap and ideally would want clear air in front of him. Little did we know that the next few laps would be the only exciting few laps of the entire race. Unfortunately for Mercedes, the next series of events went horribly wrong.

Their leading car was the next one to come him, obviously car number 77 was struggling with his tyres so it seemed logical. What was meant to be a change to assist Bottas’ potential fight for the win, turned into another pit crew mistake. Mercedes famously had the unfortunate double mistake in Bahrain the winter before. Bottas parked up between the lines on the pit lane, 1-2-3 on, good stop. Oh, wait, what’s happened with the fourth. The fourth was stuck. The wheel nut of the front right on that car was jammed by the wheel gun so bad that it couldn’t be removed, causing the car to retire from the race. 43 hours later the tyre was finally removed, going down as ‘the longest pit stop ever.’

Any chance of Mercedes scoring significant points soon faded as the undercut attempt did not go well, with Lewis losing position to not only Pierre Gasly but also Sebastian Vettel who managed to jump the two of them. 

Seb came out alongside the Frenchman, going up through Beau Rivage side by side before Gasly who was on the inside had to give up the position at Massenet. The only wheel to wheel battle we got in the entire race, and we didn’t even get to see the end of it live because the local TV director cut to Lance Stroll mounting the kerb at the swimming pool chicane. An instant meme worldwide. That 5 minutes or so will forever be remembered for the absolute bundle of chaos it was.

In the aftermath of all that, Carlos Sainz came into the pit, optimising a window that the Bottas disaster left him. We also saw Hamilton upset at why he was the first to come in when he had been saving his tyres to go long, expressing his feelings on the radio to his team. 

The seven-time world champion’s race got even worse on Lap 35 as Sergio Perez completed the overcut on not only him but also Vettel and Gasly, going all the way up to P4. That’s where positions are won and lost in Monte Carlo, in the pitlane. Max Verstappen came in the lap before his teammate, getting away in 2.0s, and maintaining the lead of the race.

After everyone had new tyres in the expected one-stop race, Esteban Ocon and Lance Stroll had not only been elevated to the top 10 but also ahead of Antonio Giovinazzi, the medium (Ocon) and hard (Stroll) tyre strategy working well for the two of them. Lando Norris’s excellent qualifying lap was rewarded with a likely podium, the Brit was sitting in P3 in his Mclaren.

Lap 52 was a difficult one for his team, as it saw Lando Norris lap Daniel Ricciardo. The Australian was to stand on the top step of the podium later in the season, but at this point, his performances as a Mclaren driver were not looking great at all.

Norris came under a little bit of pressure from Sergio Perez towards the end of the race, the Mexican even got to within DRS range on lap 65, but was unable to get any closer to car number 4.

Lewis Hamilton was a pit stop clear of 8th place on lap 68, so he was brought in for a fastest lap attempt, every point mattered in both championship fights. LH44 achieved that feat in an otherwise disappointing weekend. 

And that was it for the 2021 Monaco Grand Prix, Max Verstappen took the checkered flag waved by Serena Williams, and also took the lead of the drivers’ championship for the first time in his career. It was the Dutchman’s first-ever podium in the Principality and one that he will look back on as one of a few key turning points in his World Championship-winning campaign.

The race will never be remembered for the action that we saw on track but will go down in history for what it meant in the best championship battle in a generation, and for everything that went wrong. 

Lewis Hamilton and Tom Brady’s friendship

By: Mikey McGuire

Miami brought out all the stars this weekend. With star athletes like David Beckham and the Williams sisters, as well as movie stars and musicians. There was plenty of star power to help spread the good world about Formula One. A lot of these stars were also able to interact with the drivers, before the running started Pierre Gasly was able to sit down for dinner with basketball legend Michael Jordan and Lewis Hamilton was able to play a round of golf with Tom Brady. 

Lewis and Tom have long been friends, sometimes interacting over social media. So when both seven times champions in their respective sports got together this weekend it was a welcome sight. In an interview with CNN both athletes expressed their admiration for each other and their work ethics, discussing their mindsets when their backs are against the wall and they are fighting for a win, the 2016 Super Bowl was used as an example. This allowed us to look into the thought process of two of the most successful sportsmen of all time.

With both men reaching the twilight of their careers it isn’t known what is next for certain. Tom Brady just signed a massive broadcasting deal with fox sports to broadcast once his career on the field is over, but Lewis’s future isn’t so clear. His contract with Mercedes’ ends at the end of this year and there aren’t any concrete talks in place to renew. Perhaps Lewis will take after his friend Tom and go into broadcasting, but know one knows but the man himself. 

Lewis Hamilton is a symbol for change

Hamilton is a gifted driver and human being

By: Leona Stewart

As one of the greatest racers of all time, to the best of his era, Sir Lewis Hamilton’s influence in the motorsport world is incomparable

From breaking almost every record in the book to being the first black racing driver in history, and of course, being the poster boy for Formula 1, there is no doubt that the Brit is a true champion. 

While having over 100 race wins, and seven world championships to his name, matching that of Michael Schumacher, should be enough to make a career last a lifetime, Hamilton has made himself not only a hugely successful sportsperson but a global figure for equality. 

For years Formula 1 has stayed out of politics. As a sport that is dominated by rich white males, it lacks diversity, even in 2022. No women on the grid, almost all drivers come from a wealthy backgrounds – there are few minorities represented in the paddock. But Lewis Hamilton provides a voice for the silenced. 

In the wake of the 2020 Covid pandemic, where we saw the murder of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor hit the news, Lewis Hamilton had no hesitation in making sure his support was shown both on and off the grid. Providing the paddock with ‘END RACISM’ shirts and leading the way in taking the knee amongst the drivers, Hamilton broke his silence on inequality and from there his voice got louder. 

He funded a successful investigation into the lack of diversity in motorsport which sparked well-needed conversations within the field. 

Alongside Hamilton’s voice, we heard four-time world champion, Sebastian Vettel. The pair, once rivals, now fighting for joint causes have gone on to advocate for the LGBTQ+ community and women’s rights. 

Both drivers have continually spoken against what they do not believe in, no matter where they are. Prior to last year’s race in Hungary, Hamilton expressed his support for the LGBTQ+ community after the country passed a law allowing preventing any content on homosexuality or gender reassignment to be shown to those under 18 in schools.

Vettel sported rainbow shoes, mask, and t-shirts in support of gay pride, which he was reprimanded for wearing during the national anthem, to which he responded by saying he did not care. While Hamilton wore a rainbow helmet to show his support.

While to us these may seem like such small symbols, to see someone who you respect speak out about these issues where you cannot is the support that many minorities need.

While it is no secret that there is misogyny in the motorsport world, there is gradual change coming. In 2021 the Vettel created an all-female karting event for women in Saudi Arabia, where until 2018 women could not drive. Both drivers have expressed how uncomfortable racing in oppressing countries makes them.

Before its removal from the 2022 line-up, both Hamilton and Vettel made it clear that they did not wish to race in Russia, due to its ongoing conflict in Ukraine, with Vettel saying: “I should not go, I will not go. I think it’s wrong”. The race has since been canceled, and Russian driver Nikita Mazepin no longer races in F1.

Two esteemed world champions have brought Formula 1 into the modern world in a way that we must encourage. It is a privilege to be able to separate sports from politics and is not something many can enjoy. Perhaps seeing more of these millionaire drivers standing alongside Sir Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel would not only create more diversity in the sport but allow it to be safe and create the difference it has the potential to make. 

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