"Inspiration" Hamilton included on TIME's 100 most influential people list
Lewis Hamilton has been named by TIME magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
The now annual honour is bestowed upon those who have made a highly meaningful contribution to the world and society over the preceding 12 months.
Hamilton's inclusion, for the second time, recognises the work he has done to promote diversity and inequality at a time of racial injustice across the world, notably following the deaths earlier this year of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor at the hands of police brutality in the United States
The 35-year-old, also on course for a record-equalling seventh Formula 1 world title, has played a visual role in the push to end racism and to promote the Black Lives Matter movement, whose founders Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi have received a combined place on the TIME list.
Separated into five categories - pioneers, artists, icons, leaders and titans - Hamilton figures in the latter, with his guest contribution provided by NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace who, like the Briton, is the only person of colour competing in his particular sport.
Watson wrote: "Lewis Hamilton is someone I’ve idolised. He’s poised to win his seventh Formula One championship this season, tying Michael Schumacher’s record.
"Seven is a magic number in racing. Dale Earnhardt Sr., Jimmie Johnson and Richard Petty have each won seven NASCAR season titles. Lewis, 35, is young enough to keep winning championships and setting new all-time records.
"I’m the only Black driver in NASCAR’s top level. So Lewis’ example - as the lone Black F1 driver - is particularly meaningful for me. He shows we’re out there doing it. To see him conquering the track damn near every weekend, it motivates me to try to do the same.
"His activism has also moved the world. Lewis has brought international attention to the Black Lives Matter movement, through his advocacy on social media and at F1 events.
"Lewis’ mental preparation, his aura, his ability to capitalise on every opportunity to use his platform to drive out racism are more than just a model for race-car drivers and other athletes. He’s an inspiration for everyone."
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