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It is said that a person needs to have an extremely singular focus to become a Formula 1 driver, let alone become a winning driver. And that focus needs to be there from a very young age. However, as Lewis Hamilton progressed in his career, he could somehow split his attention between racing, fighting social issues, his fashion commitments, etc., and still won multiple championships. And that’s exactly why the F1 Chief Technical Officer has tremendous respect for Hamilton, despite believing that the Brit is far from being an ideal racing driver.

Having faced discrimination firsthand for being the only driver of color on the F1 grid, Lewis Hamilton knows the importance of fighting for equality and inclusivity, particularly focusing on under-represented groups. Lewis is not only statistically the greatest driver of all time in Formula 1, but he is also the most active voice in the sport in breaking down social barriers. His cause extends to his life outside of Formula 1 with his initiatives like Mission 44, which focuses on addressing racial diversity gaps in STEM education, particularly in the UK.

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And that’s something Pat Symonds is unable to understand because he believes racing drivers should dedicate their lives to just that- racing. During a recent conversation on the ‘F1: Beyond The Grid’ podcast, host Tom Clarkson asked Pat, “Is there any driver, of the last 40 years, who you didn’t work with, who you would love to have worked with?”

Lewis [Hamilton], Symonds said without skipping a beat. I have so much respect for the guy, and he is everything that I believe a driver shouldn’t be. And yet he wins, I always used to say to my drivers, when it comes to doing what you’re doing, you’ve only got one job, do it properly, don’t get sidetracked with anything else and I would get pretty annoyed if they did. Lewis, he has multiple lives and yet he’s still absolutely fantastic. I would love to have worked with him, I would love to understand how he works and what it is that makes him so great. Yeah, I really missed that one.

Now that Hamilton is on the brink of starting a new chapter in his remarkable career with Ferrari, he is already making it a priority to make his cause extend to the Scuderia

Lewis Hamilton believes Ferrari has a long way to go in terms of diversity

During his twelve-year stint with Mercedes, Hamilton has been actively involved in initiatives aimed at increasing diversity in motorsport. One of Hamilton’s key contributions to promoting diversity is the establishment of the Ignite charity, which addresses the lack of diversity in motorsport. This initiative, born out of the findings of the Hamilton Commission, has become an integral part of Mission 44. And now, he has set his sights on extending these efforts to Ferrari in 2025.

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Hamilton’s decision to extend his diversity initiatives to Ferrari stems from his recognition of the work that still needs to be done within the team. In discussions with John Elkann, the chairman of Ferrari, Hamilton has made it clear that promoting diversity will be a priority for him moving forward. “Of course, [if] you look at Ferrari, they have a lot of work to do, so I’ve already made that a priority in speaking with John [Elkann]. And they’re super excited to work on it also, Hamilton said as quoted by Sports Illustrated.

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How big of a reason for promoting diversity at a top team in Formula 1 could it have been for Lewis Hamilton in his decision to join Ferrari? Share your thoughts on the matter.

READ MORE: Philanthropist Lewis Hamilton Goes on Ground for His Impactful Mission 44: “We Hope to Inspire…”

Written by

Veerendra Vikram Singh

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Veerendra Singh is a Motorsport writer at EssentiallySports who specializes in F1 coverage. Having followed the sport for more than 12 years, Veerendra excels in covering trend-setting articles and has covered Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton, Toto Wolff, and Charles Leclerc extensively during the 2023 F1 season. His Dale Earnhardt Jr post regarding the North Wilkesboro Speedway was shared by Save The Speedway Twitter account.
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Edited by

Shreya Singh