F1 fans in tears as Lewis Hamilton shows support for LGBTQ+ rights in ‘brilliant’ way

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Lewis Hamilton reitereated his stance on LGBTQ+ and human rights ahead of the Formula 1 season opened in Bahrain this weekend.

Formula 1 fans heaped praise on Lewis Hamilton as the driver reiterated his support for LGBGT+ rights at Silverstone, leaving some fans 'in tears'.

Hamilton took time out of preparations for this weekend's racing season opener in Bahrain to speak with The Fast and The Curious podcast.

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After chatting about new technology, time off during the winter break and an expedition in Antarctica, podcast host Christian Hewgill asked the 38-year-old about his record for standing up for human rights.

In an emotional moment, Hewgill said: "You mention the word inspiring, sorry to end on a slightly serious note but you have paved the way in Formula 1 for talking out about serious issues that haven't been spoken about before.

"For example, I'm a fanatic F1 fan and sports broadcaster, I'm also gay. It's something I struggled with when I was a kid about coming out in the world of sports. You went to Hungary in 2021 when that was going through some tricky LGBT stuff and spoke up about LGBT rights. I wanted to say thank you, it means the world and makes such a difference."

Lewis Hamilton: ‘I feel a huge responsibility’

Hamilton responded by thanking the host and delivered an emotive response that has got Formula 1 fans heaping praise on the Mercedes driver.

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The star said: "We have this platform and I just feel a huge responsibility. I'm not just a Formula 1 driver and I can just have success and go about my life, this is a platform to really spark change, spark conversation, which is the beginning of those things.

Lewis Hamilton will be on the track in Bahrain this weekend (Imge: Getty Images)Lewis Hamilton will be on the track in Bahrain this weekend (Imge: Getty Images)
Lewis Hamilton will be on the track in Bahrain this weekend (Imge: Getty Images) | Getty Images

"Sparking those uncomfortable conversations and then holding people accountable who have been happy with the status quo in the past, which has held people down and made people not included.

"We can make change and I want to be a part of helping that and making people feel more included.

"Motorsport or any sport or business shouldn't be able to continue not being diverse. When have you ever seen someone working in our industry with disabilities? There are so many different things we need to challenge and fix."

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Human rights issues in Formula 1 host countries

Hamilton also touched on the human rights atrocities committed in nations that host Formula 1 events such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Hamilton added: "We also go to a lot of countries where they have challenging human rights issues where humans are not treated as human beings. In the past people just brushed by it like it's not important, it's so important someone speaks out about it."

In countries such as those named above, freedom of expression is limited, women struggle for equal rights and being LGBTQ+ can lead to imprisonment or even the death penalty.

Hamilton nominated for Britsh LGBT Awards

Lewis Hamilton wore a rainbow helmet on the Formula 1 circuit in 2021 (Image: Getty Images)Lewis Hamilton wore a rainbow helmet on the Formula 1 circuit in 2021 (Image: Getty Images)
Lewis Hamilton wore a rainbow helmet on the Formula 1 circuit in 2021 (Image: Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images

Last month Hamilton was nominated for two British LGBT Awards, first in the Media Moment category for sporting a rainbow helmet in Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi as well as in the Celebrity Ally category.

Responding to the podcast online, fans praised Hamilton's words as "fantastic stuff" and "incredibly moving".

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One wrote: "I was listening to this part as I was getting into the office and I just couldn’t hold back the tears, this is so important to me as it is to you and I’m so thankful you got the opportunity to talk about it with Lewis."

Another said: "Wow this made me so emotional, what a sound man he is and what amazing support he has for our community and thank you Chris for representing us like this! So proud of you."

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