Lewis Hamilton is in the midst of a battle for the most exciting Formula One championship in recent memory but insists he is uncomfortable racing in Saudi Arabia highlighting the country’s “quite scary” LGBTQ + the law.
The opening race in Jeddah was the penultimate Grand prix of the 2021 season, in which defending champion Hamilton and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen competed for the title.
Verstappen is just eight points behind Sunday’s race in Saudi Arabia but Hamilton has the momentum to win the previous two races for Mercedes.
One of them arrived in Qatar two weeks ago, where Britons spoke out about the Gulf nation’s poor human rights record, calling on F1 and other sportspeople to do the same.
“As I said at the last race I feel like this sport and we have an obligation to make sure we try and raise awareness about certain issues, especially human rights in the country. countries we’re going to,” he said on Thursday.
“With the utmost respect for everyone present here, I have received warm respect from everyone here on earth.
“I can’t pretend to be the best or most knowledgeable of anyone who has grown up in a community here heavily influenced by so many laws and regimes.
“Do I feel comfortable here? I won’t say I do but I don’t have to choose here, the sport has been chosen here and whether that’s right or wrong, I think when we’re here, I think it’s important that we must try and raise awareness.”
Hamilton won in Qatar wearing a new helmet that sports a rainbow and a colored chevron to support the LGBTQ+ community.
With same-sex relationships illegal in both Qatar and Saudi Arabia, Hamilton confirmed he will be wearing the new design again on the Jeddah Corniche Circuit this weekend.
He added: “In the last race you saw the helmet that I wore and I will wear it again here and in the next race because that is a matter and is the rule.
“If anyone wants to spend time reading legislation for the LGBT+ community it is pretty horrifying and needs to change, for example women’s rights and driving ability in 2018 – that’s how they do it. do. is controlled.
“Do they really work? Why are some women still in jail for driving many, many years ago?
“There’s a lot of change that needs to happen and our sport needs to do more.”
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/motor-racing/formula1/lewis-hamilton-saudi-arabia-f1-lgbtq-b1968699.html F1: Lewis Hamilton addresses ‘quite scary’ LGBTQ+ law in Saudi Arabia