Lewis Hamilton backed by Usain Bolt as F1 driver ready to risk trouble
Hamilton opens up on plans to remain in F1 ahead of new season
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Lewis Hamilton has been supported by Usain Bolt amid suggestions the Mercedes star will break FIA rules to continue to make political statements. The FIA U-turned on some of its protest rules after a backlash from many teams and drivers.
However, drivers are still banned from expressing their own views in an FIA press conference except in response to a direct question. F1’s stars will also be silenced from making expressions during activities on track such as driver parades or on the podium.
It means Hamilton could be penalised for taking a knee ahead of races as in previous seasons. However, Bolt has thrown his weight behind Hamilton as he claimed stars had a “responsibility” away from the sport.
He explained: “Lewis is a winner off the track too. In our position, we are role models and have a responsibility to influence people in a positive way.
“No matter where you come from, or whatever situation you were born into, everybody deserves a chance to better themselves and should be supported to succeed.” Hamilton has also teased he could take the rules into his own hands ahead of the new season.
Speaking at the launch of Mercedes W14, Hamilton admitted that “nothing changes” ahead of the new campaign. He remarked: “Nothing will stop me from speaking on the things I am passionate about.
“The sport has a responsibility to speak out and create awareness on important topics, particularly as we are travelling to different places. So nothing changes.” Earlier this month, he also posted an image of his new 2023 race helmet and pointed out rainbow highlights.
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Hamilton has previously donned a rainbow helmet in support of LGBTQ+ rights at Grands Prix with human rights concerns. He posted on Instagram: “Going with both yellow and purple this year.
“Love how they look together and how sick it looks against the black car. Keeping the rainbow accents too, always.” Bolt has been spotted at several races including the 2021 Italian Grand Prix and the 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
He added: “The biggest memory I have of hanging out with Lewis is that hot lap he took me on at Austin, a few years ago. It was crazy – he turned off the traction control in the middle of the lap and I pleaded with him not to! That green Mercedes was sliding around and we were just laughing the whole time. What an experience.
“That was back in 2017. Now he’s got seven titles and more than 100 wins.”
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