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Lewis Hamilton: “As a sport we have to continue to work on our inclusivity. Diversity continues to be an issue.”

Hamilton to wear rainbow helmet

Lewis Hamilton will race in Qatar wearing a helmet painted with the rainbow flag in support of LGBTQ+ rights, which are restricted in the Gulf state.

Displays of the rainbow flag were a contentious point early on during the Fifa World Cup in Qatar last year.

F1’s position is that it hopes by racing in countries with human rights records that have been criticised it will raise awareness and lead to long-term change.

Hamilton, who also wore the helmet the last time F1 raced in Qatar in 2021, said:

“It’s always good and well raising awareness for things, but it is more about the work that is done in the background and the conversations you continue to have to have.

“And it’s such a big machine to shift. It is a whole country that is very young. It has taken the West a long, long time to get to where they are.

“All we can do is try to be positive when we come to these places and take the opportunity – that’s why I continue to wear the flag here.

“In 2021 it was nerve-wracking because I didn’t know how the country would react. But it was amazing when I do meet people who are incredibly grateful for utilising the platform for something like that so they feel included.

“As a sport we have to continue to work on our inclusivity. Diversity continues to be an issue.” (BBC Sport)