Fellow veteran of the grid Sebastian Vettel has also been forthright on contentious topics in the sport
Hamilton has been an increasingly prominent and outspoken voice on important social issues, particularly around the Black Lives Matter campaign and his own commission to help more black people to work in motorsport. Fellow veteran of the grid Sebastian Vettel has also been forthright on contentious topics in the sport such as F1’s environmental record, and Hamilton says they can inspire the next generation.
“From my experience as a driver, there’s definitely the experience of ‘My team won’t want me to say that’ or ‘I can’t be outspoken because the team won’t like that’ or ‘The sponsors won’t like that’,” said Hamilton, speaking on Sky Sports F1.
“I hope that breaking some of these invisible rules that are there has shown the others that they can do those things. I don’t mind being the one to break them. It’s great to see Seb really coming out on his own. As two of the older drivers, I hope that does encourage some of the younger drivers.
“I’m speaking with Mick [Schumacher], who is such a lovely lad and he’s saying things like ‘I don’t know everything. Is there any way you can educate me?’ And same with Lando [Norris]. So I’m really proud of this next generation coming along, but we can still encourage them to be more invested and more understanding.
“When you’re young, all you’re thinking about is winning. You don’t have time for a lot of these other things. Wel, you think you don’t, but you actually do. And that’s what we’ve got to get across.”
Hamilton recently dressed up in disguise to surprise three schoolchildren on a tour of the Mercedes factory. The children selected for the surprise were passionate about engineering which follows Hamilton’s ambition to get more kids from under-represented background into motorsport.
Dressed as one of the engineers, he removed a steering wheel from his Mercedes W12 as the tour guide told him not to touch it. Die seven-time world champion then ditched the disguise and surprised the children.
He told the kids: “Keep believing in yourself, that is the most important thing because nobody else is going to do it for you. If I can do it, then you can 100 per cent do it. Anybody can do and achieve something great.”