Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton wore a rainbow-coloured helmet during Friday’s practice sessions at the Qatar Grand Prix after saying Formula One was “duty bound” to raise awareness over human rights and equality in the country. The tiny Gulf state is hosting its first F1 race this weekend and has signed a 10-year contract from 2023. Qatar’s motorsport chief recently said drivers would be free to “speak their minds” on controversial issues such as human rights. Hamilton’s helmet sported pride rainbow colours designating support for LGBTQ+ rights and displayed the words “We Stand Together” on the back. The Mercedes star spoke out Thursday about equal rights and increasing scrutiny on some of the countries the sport visited.
“I do feel that there are issues in these places that we are going to, as there are around the world, but of course (this) seems to be deemed as one of the worst in this part of the world,” he said.
“I do think as these sports go to these places they are duty bound to raise awareness for these issues and these places need scrutiny and need the media to speak about these things. Equal rights is a serious issue.
“However I am aware that in this place they are trying to make steps and it can’t change overnight.”