Hamilton: Lack of F1 diversity under Ecclestone "makes complete sense"

Lewis Hamilton says the lack of action to improve diversity in Formula 1 under Bernie Ecclestone "makes complete sense" following the championship's former supremo's comments about racism

Hamilton: Lack of F1 diversity under Ecclestone "makes complete sense"

Ecclestone was at the helm of F1 for 40 years before exiting when F1 was taken over by Liberty Media in January 2017.

F1 has recently begun a new campaign to make the sport more inclusive, while six-time world champion Hamilton - the only black driver in F1 history - has launched his own commission to improve diversity throughout motorsport.

Ecclestone said in an interview with CNN that he did not think Hamilton's campaign would "do anything bad or good for F1", and commented that "in lots of cases, black people are more racist than what white people are".

F1 condemned Ecclestone's comments, and revealed his honorary role as the championship's chairman emeritus expired in January 2020.

Taking to Instagram Stories, Hamilton hit back at Ecclestone's comments, but said he could understand the lack of action to address diversity or racism through his F1 career that started in 2007.

"Bernie is out of the sport and a different generations, but this is exactly what is wrong - ignorant and uneducated comments which show us how far we as a society need to go before real equality can happen," Hamilton wrote.

"It makes complete sense to me now that nothing was said or done to make our sport more diverse or to address the racial abuse I received throughout my career.

"If someone who has run the sport for decades has such a lack of understanding of the deep rooted issues we as black people deal with every day, how can we expect all the people who work under him to understand.

"It starts at the top."

Hamilton faced racist abuse early in his F1 career, notably at the Spanish Grand Prix in 2008 when he was taunted by fans in blackface following his rivalry with Fernando Alonso at McLaren.

Hamilton referenced the incident in his commission announcement, saying he had "fighting the stigma of racism throughout my racing career".

Ecclestone said in the CNN interview he was "surprised" the incident concerned the British driver and that he "didn't think it affected him".

Hamilton concluded his message on Instagram by reiterating his recent message to create long-lasting change in motorsport.

"Now the time has come for change. I will not stop pushing to create an inclusive future for our sport with equal opportunity for all, to create a world that provides equal opportunity for minorities," he wrote.

"I will continue to use my voice to represent those that don't have one, and to speak for those who are underrepresented to provide an opportunity to have a chance in our sport."

shares
comments
F1: Ecclestone’s racism comments "have no place in society"

Previous article

F1: Ecclestone’s racism comments "have no place in society"

Next article

Tents, awnings to replace F1 motorhomes in Austrian GP paddock

Tents, awnings to replace F1 motorhomes in Austrian GP paddock
Load comments
The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness Plus

The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness

Long-awaited wins for ex-Formula 1 drivers Marcus Ericsson and Kevin Magnussen in IndyCar and IMSA last weekend gave F1 a reminder of what it is missing. But with the new rules aimed at levelling the playing field, there’s renewed optimism that more drivers can have a rewarding result when their day of days comes

The figures Red Bull and Mercedes can't afford to see again in F1 2021 Plus

The figures Red Bull and Mercedes can't afford to see again in F1 2021

OPINION: An interloper squad got amongst the title contenders during Formula 1’s street-circuit mini-break, where Red Bull left with the points lead in both championships. But, as the campaign heads back to purpose-built venues once again, how the drivers of the two top teams compare in one crucial area will be a major factor in deciding which squad stays in or retakes the top spot

Formula 1
Jun 16, 2021
Why Alfa's boss is ready for the task of securing a stronger F1 future Plus

Why Alfa's boss is ready for the task of securing a stronger F1 future

Two tenth places in recent races have lifted Alfa Romeo to the head of Formula 1's 'Class C' battle in 2021, but longer-term the Swiss-based squad has far loftier ambitions. With the new 2022 rules set to level out the playing field, team boss Frederic Vasseur has good reason to be optimistic, as he explained to Autosport in an exclusive interview

Formula 1
Jun 15, 2021
How Barnard’s revolutionary McLaren transformed F1 car construction Plus

How Barnard’s revolutionary McLaren transformed F1 car construction

The MP4/1 was pioneering by choice, but a McLaren by chance. STUART CODLING relates the tangled (carbonfibre) weaves which led to the creation of one of motor racing’s defining cars

Formula 1
Jun 15, 2021
Why the end is nigh for F1’s most dependable design tool Plus

Why the end is nigh for F1’s most dependable design tool

Windtunnel work forms the bedrock of aerodynamic development in Formula 1. But as PAT SYMONDS explains, advances in virtual research are signalling the end of these expensive and complicated relics

Formula 1
Jun 13, 2021
Why polarising Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour Plus

Why polarising Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour

The newspapers, naturally, lingered over Max Mosley’s tainted family history and niche sexual practices. But this is to trivialise the legacy of a big beast of motor racing politics. STUART CODLING weighs the life of a man whose work for safety on both road and track has saved hundreds of thousands of lives, but whose penchant for cruelty remains problematic and polarising

Formula 1
Jun 12, 2021
Why pragmatic Perez isn't fazed by no-nonsense Red Bull F1 culture Plus

Why pragmatic Perez isn't fazed by no-nonsense Red Bull F1 culture

Sergio Perez has spent most of his career labouring in Formula 1’s midfield, wondering whether he’d ever get another shot at the big time. Red Bull has handed him that chance and, although life at the top is tough, the Baku winner is doing all the right things to get on terms with Max Verstappen, says BEN ANDERSON

Formula 1
Jun 11, 2021
What the data tells us about the F1 2021 title fight Plus

What the data tells us about the F1 2021 title fight

Formula 1 has been tracking car performance using timing loops mounted every 200m around each circuit – to the extent that it was able to anticipate Ferrari’s 'surprise’ pole in Monaco. PAT SYMONDS explains what this means for this season and beyond

Formula 1
Jun 10, 2021