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Number Seven Thousand Two Hundred and Fifty - 04 March 2023
Iran Daily - Number Seven Thousand Two Hundred and Fifty - 04 March 2023 - Page 5

F1 is duty bound to raise awareness, says Hamilton

Formula One has to draw attention to issues in the countries it visits, Lewis Hamilton said in Bahrain on Thursday as drivers began a new season with tighter rules on what they can say.
The seven times world champion was asked about human rights in Bahrain and neighbouring Saudi Arabia, which hosts the second round, Reuters reported.
It was the first time he had faced the media at a grand prix since the re-wording of the international sporting code last December to require written permission to make or display “political, religious and personal statements or comments”.
The new rules cover podium ceremonies and anthems but drivers can make statements “in their own space” such as social media and official news conferences in response to direct questions.
Hamilton has said nothing will stop him speaking out.
“I’ve always felt that we have a responsibility and if the sport is going to go to these countries we are duty bound to raise awareness and try to leave a positive impact in these places,” he told reporters in the Mercedes hospitality at Sakhir.
“That view has not always been shared within the sport, whether its teams or people in high-powered positions, but more needs to be done without doubt.
“Whether or not that will happen, time will tell.”
Asked about the human rights situation in Bahrain and Formula One’s impact, he said he was “not sure it’s got better while I’ve been coming all these years.”
The Briton was speaking in a crowded room with only three female reporters among the men – an imbalance he was also happy to speak out on.
“This sport still has a lot more work to do in the diversity space,” he said when asked about the general absence of female figures in the latest run of the popular Netflix docu-series ‘Drive to Survive’.
“It’s definitely not good... there are a lot of women out there that are watching Drive to Survive that are watching the sport.
“If they are not seeing that it’s possible for them to be there, or there’s a place for them there, that’s counter-intuitive to our values and what should be. It is still very much a male-dominated space,” he added.
“I’m trying to get 8,000 girls into the sport. We need everybody to be doing that up and down the pitlane because 100% girls and women belong here equally as much as the men do.”


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