Lewis Hamilton says he is still fully committed to success in Formula 1 despite signing only a one-year deal with Mercedes this winter.
The seven-time champion, 36, said he had twin goals of winning an eighth title and pushing for real change on diversity within motorsport this year.
— Mercedes-Benz Press (@MB_Press) March 2, 2021
“There was great discussion around diversity last year, but what’s really important is that we’re taking action.”
Mercedes have maintained the black livery to which they switched their cars in 2020 as a continuation of their push for diversity and anti-racism.
Hamilton said he was “proud” of the steps Mercedes were taking to make their team more inclusive and increase opportunities for minorities, and that his commission investigating the reasons for a lack of diversity in motorsport would deliver its first report in the summer.
“We are starting to see that progress and it takes one step at a time,” he said. “That’s my driving force this year too – to make sure we continue to push for accountability. And on top of that hopefully I can deliver some good performances.”
After taking the knee before races last year to highlight anti-racism, he said he had not yet decided what actions to take on the grid this year.
“It is not the most important thing that everyone takes the knee,” he said. “It is more the action in the background.
“It continues to be an issue that affects my day-to-day life and so many people out there. It is really important to continue to hold uncomfortable conversations with people – change is possible and change is needed.”
Hamilton said his decision over whether to continue in F1 beyond 2021 would not be based solely on whether he breaks the all-time record of championship victories and win an eighth title.
“I have decided I don’t want that to be the deciding factor,” Hamilton said.