After Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton took his first win of the new season by winning the Formula One World Championship’s Styrian Grand Prix in Austria yesterday, Sunday, the British driver’s post-race statements suggested that he will struggle this season to deal with racism as well as His fight to keep the world championship title.
The 4,318 meter long “Red Bull Ring” track in the city of Spielberg in Austria hosted the second race in a row at the opening of the Formula 1 World Championship, as part of the revised schedule for the championship, the start of which was postponed. For a long time due to the emerging corona virus (Covid-19) epidemic. The name Styria race is derived from the name of the country where the race track is located.
Although some drivers again took part in protesting against racism before the start of the race, yesterday’s race did not witness the same unity or cohesion as the first race at the same track a week earlier.
“I think the drivers talked earlier this week after letting the drivers know what we’re going to do,” Hamilton said, “The question is, how long do we have to do it?”
He added: “Some felt that… once was enough in the last week, and I had to assure them that racism is here, and it will be here, maybe more than we were here, while people who are discriminated against because of their color do not get time to express themselves.” A protest, that’s it.”
And Hamilton spoke courageously earlier about racism, and his activity in this regard increased even more during the period of suspension of competitions in light of the emerging corona epidemic (Covid-19), when he intensified his activity on social networks, in addition to his participation in protest vigils.
“We must continue to push for equality and raise awareness of it,” said Hamilton.
Hamilton knelt before the race and during his victory celebration performed the “black fist” movement, by raising a fist, a famous movement expressing protest against racism against black people.
Hamilton, 35, also thanked athletes who have become active in the fight against racism, whether through demonstrations or through donations.
But he also emphasized that the drivers, who are in contact with the fans, must continue the effort.
“I think the drivers should be a part of it, because we have great voices and platforms,” Hamilton said.
“For us as a team, we’ll keep the black paint on the car all year…we’ll keep fighting and pushing for it all year, and for me personally, I think I’ll keep fighting for it for the rest of my life.”
Hamilton has won the Formula One World Championship six times during his career so far, achieving 85 Grand Prix victories.
Hamilton is very close to breaking the record of the German legend Michael Schumacher, winner of seven world championship titles, who achieved 91 victories in the Grand Prix races.
Hamilton began his career this season by finishing fourth in last week’s Austrian race, affected by the three-place start penalty he was handed after committing an infringement during official qualifying practice, while teammate Valtteri Bottas won the opening race.
It was very different in the official tests for the second race, as Hamilton imposed his superiority very much yesterday, Saturday, to settle his start from first place, and continued his brilliance until he crowned the race on Sunday, while Bonas advanced from fourth to second place to maintain the drivers’ advantage with 43 points compared to Hamilton’s 37 points.
And the crisis of the Ferrari team continues, which so far seems unable to enter into a prolonged competition against Mercedes, since it seems that the latter will face real competition only from Max Verstappen, the driver of Red Bull.
But the Mercedes team is expected to witness a strong battle between its drivers, Hamilton and Bottas, and that is what fans are looking forward to in the next race scheduled for next Sunday in Hungary, before Britain’s Silverstone circuit hosts the next race in – the start of three consecutive world championship races after a week’s break.
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