'It doesn't stop us' – Lewis Hamilton REFUSES to be silenced by FIA chief Mohammed Ben Sulayem over human rights stance | The Sun

LEWIS HAMILTON will NOT be silenced by FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem and says he will continue to speak out on social issues.

Ben Sulayem sparked outrage following a recent interview where he said drivers should not "impose their beliefs" on others.

The FIA president seemingly attacked three drivers for voicing their opinions on social issues, saying: "Sebastian Vettel drives a rainbow bicycle, Lewis is passionate about human rights and [Lando] Norris addresses mental health".

He later performed a U-turn insisting he WAS supportive of drivers trying to help "progress in society".

When quizzed ahead of this weekend's Azerbaijan GP about Ben Sulayem's remarks, Hamilton said it was important F1 continues "to spark more conversations".

The seven-time F1 world champion said: "It doesn't stop us from doing what we are doing. The sport is continuously growing.


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"We have a bigger audience than ever before and it continues to be an important platform for us to use our voices.

"Every single one of us within the industry, within our companies, could do more to speak out on things and to spark more conversations.

"I'm really proud with what we are doing at Mercedes with our Pride Month star on the car, which is the first time I've seen that during my time at Mercedes.

"We have over 100,000 people within Mercedes-Benz and creating a more inclusive environment, which is so important.

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"We are creating better diversity within our organisation but also it's so important within our sport, which is moving at a very slow pace.

"We need more people to utilise that platform, so I encourage all the drivers to be more outspoken in future and speak out on things they care about."

Vettel, who has been outspoken on LGBT+ and environmental issues, will also not stay silent.

The German added: "I'd like to say the topics Lewis is continuing to raise, the issues Lando has been talking about, the and stuff I've been mentioning, I feel they are topics that are very important to be addressed.

"They are bigger than us, bigger than a sport can ever be. It is important to express those and to raise awareness that there's still lots of things we can improve on."


SunSport quizzed Hamilton, Vettel, Alpine's Fernando Alonso, Ferrari's Charles Leclerc and Williams driver Nicholas Latifi whether they had confidence in Ben Sulayem and the FIA.

There followed an awkward silence as none of them wanted to answer before Alonso was pressed into responding to the question.

He said: "I have full trust in the FIA president. Maybe we saw a few things at the beginning of the year that were not as consistent as we asked for.

"There is room to improve but I have full trust in the FIA president that he will fix the things that need to be fixed."

Leclerc added: "I would like to see a bit more consistency. There is room for improvement and now we just need to make things better."

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Hamilton also commented on the new president and said: "On Mohammed, it's a huge role and big shoes to fill.

"There are lots of things he wants to do and change."

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