Lewis Hamilton on F1’s diversity gap: ‘The sport needs to do more’

Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton
Mark Sutton/Pool via AP
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SPIELBERG, Austria — Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton feels it’s his responsibility as a global star to keep pushing for more diversity in his profession and beyond.

Hamilton has spoken widely about racism in recent weeks following the killing of George Floyd — a handcuffed and unarmed Black man — by a police officer in Minneapolis in May. Hamilton attended a Black Lives Matter march in London and is setting up a commission to increase diversity in motorsport.

“I’ve got a platform, and I think it would be irresponsible of me not to utilize that to help educate people, to help educate myself and really push for accountability,” Hamilton said Thursday in a video released by his team. “Within all the brands I work with, within the industry I work with.”

PROTESTING FOR CHANGE: Hamilton joins BLM march

Hamilton’s Mercedes team will be competing in an all-black car – instead of the usual silver – as a statement against racism when the season starts on Sunday in Austria.

“Because we are the world champions, we are the best team and we need to shine our light as best as possible to encourage the other teams to want to do the same,” Hamilton said. “The sport needs to do more, (governing body) FIA need to do more. We all need to do more.”

F1 drivers are discussing whether to take the knee together on the grid before Sunday’s race in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, as soccer players have been doing.

After Floyd’s death, Hamilton spoke of his “anger, sadness and disbelief.”

Wounds from the racism he has endured resurfaced.

“When this all kicked off it really struck a nerve and a chord, brought a lot of emotion up from my personal experiences,” he said. “I experienced a lot of racism growing up, both at school and in my local area. Then on the race (driving) scene particularly being that my Dad and I were the only people of color there.”

Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton speaks during a news conference Thursday at the Red Bull Ring racetrack in Spielberg, Austria (Mark Sutton/Pool via AP).

Things were not better elsewhere in Europe.

“When I got to Italy, when I got to Belgium – which was one of my first European races – I experienced the same thing. When I was in France (as well),” Hamilton said. “That was definitely a very, very difficult thing. … You don’t understand when you’re young why things are thrown at you, why things have been shouted at you.”

Hamilton previously criticized F1 for staying silent on racism, prompting a flurry of support on Twitter from fellow drivers such as Charles Leclerc and Daniel Ricciardo.

“People perceived that I was targeting drivers, I really wasn’t. It was targeted at the whole industry,” Hamilton said. “People being silent is something I’ve experienced for such a long time, and now is not the time to be silent. This is a time to help spread the message. We need as many voices as we can to push for change.”

Hamilton hopes his commission finds the root cause of why he’s still the only Black F1 driver.

“It is an expensive sport and I think that’s definitely an underlying factor. The truth is that the opportunity is not the same, not only from the drivers point of view but also the engineers,” he said. “I’ve been working with Mercedes since I was 13. I’ve also been in Formula One for 14 years and I’ve hardly seen any change. That upsets me.”

Supercross 2023: Results and points after Anaheim 2

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The Triple Crown format shook up the results in the Monster Energy Supercross round at Anaheim 2 with no rider dominating, but in the end two wins and a fifth-place were enough to give Chase Sexton the overall victory. It was the second 450 Supercross win of his career coming a little more than a year after he won his first in San Diego.

This year San Diego was not nearly as kind. Sexton crashed on the first lap of his heat and his Honda was center punched by another rider. The damage sent him into the Last Chance Qualifier and a poor gate pick contributed to his fifth-place finish last week.

Sexton showed he was more than ready to put that behind him Saturday night in Angel Stadium by winning the first of three races in the Triple Crown format. Entering Race 3 as one of three drivers who could have secured the overall win, he chased down Jason Anderson on Lap 4 and led the final 10 laps.

RESULTS: Click here for 450 Results; Click here 250 Results

Ultimately Anderson dropped to third in the final Supercross moto of the season in Anaheim 2, but strong results in the first two races secured second overall. Anderson won the second race and his 5-1-3 fell two positions shy of the overall win.

All questions about whether Ken Roczen would need an adjustment period as he switched from Honda to Suzuki have been answered: He did not. Sweeping the top five in his two Supercross Main events and in Anaheim 2’s Triple Crown, he amassed enough points with his results of 2-3-4 to score his first podium of the season.

Click here for 450 Triple Crown Race 1 | Race 2 | Race 3

Cooper Webb steadily improved his results during the Triple Crown, but a seventh-place finish in the first race proved to be too much to overcome. He finished fourth in Race 2 and charged to second in the final race to secure fourth overall.

Dylan Ferrandis showed a lot of consistency with results of 4-6-5 to round out the top five.

Eli Tomac was one of the three riders who might have secured the overall victory by winning Race 3, but he pressed too hard while trying to pass Webb for second. He jumped wide midway through the race and landed on a Tuff Blox. After getting violently pitched from his Yamaha, he found that it was slightly damaged when he remounted and could only salvage sixth-place points with finishes of 3-2-13.

It was enough for him to maintain the overall lead in the points’ standings by four over Sexton and Webb.

Click here for Round 1 450 Overall results | Rider Points | Manufacturer Points


Levi Kitchen didn’t win a battle on Saturday night, but he won the war. He established in the top five in Race 1 with a fourth-place finish and then swept the runner-up spot in the final two motos. That first SuperMotocross victory of his career with a previous best of seventh in Supercross this year in Anaheim 1 and a third in Motocross last year at Thunder Valley in Lakewood, Colorado. It was a much-needed morale boost for Kitchen, who finished 21st last week in San Diego.

The night was disappointing by Jett Lawrence standards. He suffered falls in the first two races and stalled one another occasion, but was able to overcome those problems each time with results of third and sixth. That put him in a position where he had a shot at the overall if Kitchen stumbled just a little in the final moto. Lawrence won Race 3, but still does not have an overall Triple Crown win in the Supercross 250 division. With only one more Triple Crown on the schedule before he climbs on a 450 for the outdoor season, time is running out.

Click here for 250 Triple Crown Race 1 | Race 2 | Race 3 | Last Chance Qualifier

The Triple Crown always shakes up the Supercross results and Anaheim 2 was no exception.

Stilez Roberston capitalized on mistakes by Lawrence, RJ Hampshire and Cameron McAdoo during Race 2 and won. That victory, coupled with a third in Race 3 and a sixth in the first main, was enough to give him the final position on the podium. In this format the results are added together and the lowest number wins. Robertson tied Lawrence with identical results of 10 accumulated points, but Lawrence’s win in the final race relegated Robertson to third.

With a total score of 15 (5-4-6), Mitchell Oldenburg was a relatively distant fifth. The 18 points he earned are enough to keep him fourth in the standings and with McAdoo and Hampshire experience trouble in the race, he was able to close the gap on second in the standings.

Click here for 250 West Overall results | 250 West rider points

After missing last week’s Main, Max Vohland finished with results of 7-8-4 in the Anaheim 2 Supercross race and rounds out the top five.

McAdoo and Hampshire both lost ground in the championship standings with difficult races.

McAdoo was able to salvage sixth-place points (17) and that allowed him to leapfrog Hampshire (12). Proving that even bad days are not that bad for last year’s 250 East champion, Lawrence left Anaheim 2 with a points’ lead of 16 over second-place.

2023 Results

Race 2: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence win
Round 1: Tomac, Lawrence win

2023 SuperMotocross Power Rankings

Week 2: Ken Roczen moves up; Chase Sexton falls
Week 1: Eli Tomac tops 450s; Jett Lawrence 250s