Hamilton 'no regrets' over t-shirt tumult with FIA set to impose new guidelines
Lewis Hamilton has suggested he may again break whatever guidelines the FIA impose over political messaging after having no regrets over the t-shirt he wore at the Tuscan Grand Prix that caused such a furore.
During the now customary pre-race anti-racism demonstration, and again as he conducted a tv interview and then stood on the podium following his victory at Mugello, Hamilton wore a t-shirt with the message 'Arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor'. On the rear, there was a picture of Taylor and the words 'Say her name'.
The 26-year-old medical worker was shot and killed in March by plain-clothes police officers who mistakenly raided her home in Louisville, Kentucky.
The FIA later confirmed the matter was "under active consideration", and while no action is to be taken against the six-time F1 champion, motorsport's governing body is to issue fresh guidelines ahead of this weekend's Russian Grand Prix as to what is acceptable and unacceptable when it comes to such prominent displays.
While Mercedes driver Hamilton has vowed to work with the FIA, he has also implied he will continue to do what he feels is right to bring attention to certain human rights issues surrounding Black people.
"I don't regret a single moment," said Hamilton, referring to his wearing of the t-shirt at Mugello. "I usually pull on my heart and do what I feel is right. I felt that was me following my heart.
"I also did something that's never really happened in Formula 1, and obviously they'll stop it from happening moving forwards.
"People do talk about sport not being a place for politics. Ultimately it's human rights issues, and in my opinion, that is something we should be pushing towards.
"We have a huge collective, an amazing group of people that watch our sport, multiple different backgrounds and cultures, and we should definitely be pushing positive messages towards them, especially for equality."
Highlighting the FIA's Action for Road Safety campaign, Hamilton added: "Pushing for driver road safety, you could say that's also human rights.
"I know what they are going to do this weekend, but lots of rules have been written for me over the years, and that hasn't stopped me.
"What I will do is try to continue to work with Formula 1 and with the FIA to make sure the messaging is right. Could it be better? Of course, it could always be better, but that's a part of the learning curve."
The 35-year-old has proclaimed those within the FIA to be "a group of very intelligent people", and is hoping "they do understand" the severity of the situation that has occurred in the world this year with regard to racial inequality.
Appreciating the "limits" the Federation has to work within, Hamilton added: "I think this is a learning process for everyone. People have been happy with the norm here of how life and society have operated.
"But ultimately the world, and the younger generation particularly, are more conscious that things aren't equal and that change is needed.
"So it does take conversations with people, and things like Mugello happening, for people to spark a conversation that perhaps would never have taken place if it didn't happen."
Aware of the new guidelines due to be introduced, Hamilton said: "I haven't spoken to them but I've heard that tomorrow they will come out with a new ruling of some sort, saying what you can and cannot do.
"As I've said, I will continue to try to work with them, and whether or not I agree or disagree is kind of irrelevant. It's just trying to find a common ground on how we can do it together maybe.
"Do I believe they fully understand? I don't know, but perhaps in the future, we all will to the same extent."
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