Lewis Hamilton said performing the Black Power salute after winning last weekend’s Styrian Grand Prix was a moment he will never forget.
After a truly dominant performance at Spielberg’s Red Bull Ring, Hamilton stood on top of his black Mercedes car, clenching his right fist in the air.
Then, after collecting his winner’s silverware, Hamilton looked down on the tarmac before sending his clenched right fist skywards for a second time.
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We stand together and fight✊🏾 the team today took the knee which was just amazing to see that together we can learn, be open minded and conscious of what’s going on in the world. Today we won but we have a long way to go. Thank you so much to everyone in my team, here at the track and back at the factory. I hope you are proud of what we are standing for and achieving together. A huge thanks to all of you #TeamLH, I appreciate all of your support and your positive messages, you’ve really kept me going 🙏🏾 #StillWeRise
Hamilton’s powerful gestures were inspired by the African-American 200m runners’ Tommie Smith and John Carlos – who first performed the anti-racism gesture after taking gold and bronze respectively at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico.
“I remember witnessing, seeing and reading about their experience and seeing the iconic image of their salute,” said Hamilton, 35, ahead of this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix.
“That was inspiring for me. It felt like the right moment, an important moment for me, and I will never forget it.
“Racism is something that has been around for hundreds of years and currently continues. When you’ve got icons, people like that who’ve stood up against this battle, I just find it inspiring.
“I took a page out of their book, realising that I have this platform, I have this opportunity to continue to raise awareness, try and unite people, and educate myself but also educate other people and that was really where it came from.”
Hamilton heads into the third race of the season here in Hungary six points adrift of his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas in the championship standings.
He is aiming to win the race at the Hungaroring for an eighth time and third in succession.