Lewis Hamilton set for collision course with F1 bosses over political T-shirt
Lewis Hamilton is set for a collision course with Formula One bosses after insisting he does not have a single regret over the T-shirt he wore at the Tuscan Grand Prix.
Hamilton, who on Sunday could make Formula One history in Russia by equalling Michael Schumacher’s 91-race victory record, avoided any action from the FIA, the sport’s governing body, for the message which read: ‘Arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor’.
Taylor, a 26-year-old black woman, was shot dead by police in her Louisville home in March. On Wednesday, a decision was taken not to charge any of the officers with her murder.
The PA news agency understands Hamilton will be informed of a revision to the rulebook which will forbid him from displaying a political message on the podium.
However, the six-time world champion is likely to be allowed to wear a T-shirt similar to the one he wore in Mugello when he takes a knee on the grid before Sunday’s race in Sochi.
“Lots of rules have been written for me over the years but that hasn’t stopped me,” said Hamilton ahead of this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix.
“I don’t regret a single moment of what I did. I usually follow my heart and do what is right and I felt what I did in Mugello was me following my heart.
“I did something that has never really happened in Formula One and obviously they will stop it from happening again.
“People say sport is not a place for politics, but it is a human rights issue, and in my mind that is something we should be pushing towards.
“People have been happy with the norm here as to how life and society has operated, but the world – particularly the younger generation – is conscious that things are not equal and change is needed so it takes something like Mugello happening to spark a conversation that would never have taken place otherwise.”
Hamilton, who earlier wrote on social media that he was saddened but not surprised by the move not to charge any police officers with the killing of Taylor, suggested the FIA – a non-political organisation – has failed to comprehend the severity of the issue.
He added: “The FIA are a group of very intelligent people so I hope they do understand, but as a business and an organisation they have got certain limits and they feel they have to try to make everyone happy which is not something I do, I try to do the right thing.
“I have heard tomorrow they will come out with a new ruling saying what you can and cannot do and I will just try to continue to work with them – agree or disagree – it is irrelevant, just trying to find a common ground.
“Do I believe they fully understand? I don’t know but perhaps in the future we all will to the same extent.”