Lewis Hamilton has revealed that one F1 team is yet to follow the others in signing his charter to encourage greater diversity and inclusion in motorsport. The 37-year-old has been leading calls for change in the paddock for quite some time and is working to make things happen by fronting the Hamilton Commission, which was set up by the seven-time world champion back in June of last year.
His charter was proposed as one of several recommendations made by the organisation in a bid to tackle the underlying issue of discrimination in F1 and other forms of racing. Not everybody seems to be on board at this stage, though, with one team blocking his charter by refusing to sign it despite the approval of the remaining nine.
“F1 needs to do more, all the teams need to do more,” said Hamilton ahead of this weekend’s French Grand Prix.
“I think we are very close to getting this diversity inclusion charter going and I think there’s one team, still the same team, is not willing to engage, but I’m grateful to see that the other teams are willing to step forward and do the work.
“I don’t think it would be appropriate to name the team. We’ve gone back and forth with them and for some reason they don’t want to, but all the other nine teams have, which is really encouraging.”
Hamilton has continued to speak out against racism and similar problems in F1 over the course of a year that has already seen a handful of unsavoury incidents dominate the headlines instead of the on-track action. Three-time world champion Nelson Piquet referred to Hamilton using a racist term in an interview that surfaced online last month before many reports of unacceptable fan behaviour were aired on social media during the Austrian Grand Prix.
“I’m doing the most I can, I don’t know what else I can do, but I do think it’s all of our responsibility to do something,” added Hamilton.
“Not only us, the sport, those that write and report on what’s happening here. The sport wouldn’t be what it is without you, your words are powerful and you have a responsibility to the readers to make sure that we’re progressing and moving in the right direction.”
Hamilton will be hoping that no further incidents will crop up to distract him from getting the best possible result at the French Grand Prix, with Mercedes set to introduce a number of much-needed performance upgrades over the course of the weekend. The Silver Arrows have fallen adrift of Red Bull and Ferrari since the end of last season but have made plenty of progress in recent weeks and will be desperate to challenge for victory at the next time of asking at Circuit Paul Ricard.