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Formula 1 Bahrain GP

FIA has no issue with Hamilton rainbow helmet at F1 Bahrain GP

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton did not have to request permission from the FIA to wear a rainbow design on his helmet at Formula 1's Bahrain Grand Prix, Autosport understands.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W14

This weekend’s race is the first since the controversial clampdown on the making of political statements that was announced by the FIA during the winter.

It was later clarified that drivers are allowed to say what they want in interviews and press conference and the ban related to formal events such as the grid ceremony and podium.

Given the sensitivity over LGBTQ matters in the Middle East, Hamilton’s decision to run a rainbow design in Bahrain has attracted a lot of interest.

However the FIA, which has its own diversity programme, supports the rainbow logo. It would only take a closer look at such a matter if it was raised by another stakeholder, such as a race promoter.

Asked by Autosport about Hamilton’s design, F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali said that he liked it.

Speaking on Friday before he revealed the helmet, Hamilton acknowledged that he had had some concerns about the FIA's winter announcement.

He said: “Of course, when you read that in the news it tells me that we are in the wrong direction, it's counter to what I've been trying to do with the team, for example, what I've been trying to do in conversations with stakeholders within our sport.

“But I expect pushback, there are still individuals that don't either understand or believe the importance of having an inclusive environment. And I think my job and our job is to continue to highlight that, the positives of what that can have, and the importance of it.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

“And it might sound like a broken record. But that's what I'm to keep on doing, it's a fight that I'm going to keep on having.

“I'm really happy that Mission 44 [his initiative which has aims including improving diversity in F1 and the wider motorsport world] is working flat out, and I'm working with the team on this diversity, now working with all the teams involved.”

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Hamilton also acknowledged Domenicali, who has made it clear that F1 does not want to gag drivers who want to promote messages.

“Stefano is I think a really great leader and very family orientated and very much understanding,” said the seven-time world champion.

“He's already come out and kind of gone against what has been said. So we'll continue to work together to the right direction.”

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