February 27, 2021

Hamilton feels ‘weight on my spirit’ of global events

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“When you’re watching the news, when you see what’s happening around the world and I feel really quite affected by it and then obviously I was so incredibly proud when Chadwick was Black Panther”

By James Galloway

Last Updated: 31/08/20 7:03pm

Lewis Hamilton has spoken candidly about “feeling a lot of weight on my heart” amid the global events of 2020, on a Belgian GP weekend he dedicated his success to Chadwick Boseman.

Hamilton has been a prominent voice calling for greater diversity and opportunity in both motorsport and society at large, with F1’s six-time champion regularly speaking passionately about social justice and the need for more equality.

After the death of Boseman, the American actor best known for playing the superhero Black Panther, Hamilton dedicated his pole position at Spa-Francorchamps to a man he described as having “moved a generation”.

The Mercedes driver also dedicated his race win on Sunday to the actor and, speaking afterwards, reflected on the emotion he felt on hearing the news on Saturday morning of Boseman’s passing.

“I think that naturally we had that week off, I got good training at home and arrived here feeling fairly relaxed,” said Hamilton on his build-up to the Spa weekend.

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Lewis Hamilton dedicated his pole position at Spa to the actor Chadwick Boseman, who sadly passed away at the age of 43

Lewis Hamilton dedicated his pole position at Spa to the actor Chadwick Boseman, who sadly passed away at the age of 43

“And then obviously I woke up yesterday morning and… I mean, I’ve generally been feeling a lot of weight on my heart, spirit.

“You know, when you’re watching the news, when you see what’s happening around the world and I feel really quite affected by it and then obviously I was so incredibly proud when Chadwick was Black Panther because as I mentioned all the reasons yesterday, as a kid, dreaming of super heroes and finally see someone, a super hero of a similar colour to me, was really just such a remarkable moment, I think, for the black community.

“So when I woke up and I got the news from a friend who has said I’m crying writing this message to you about Chad, and then reading the news I just broke down. I remember, just trying to pull it together and make sure I delivered on that day.”

Hamilton: ‘Nothing has changed yet’

Before the start of Sunday’s race, Hamilton and his fellow drivers had again gathered on the grid in the sport’s anti-racism ceremony to send their message in the fight against discrimination around the world.

On the podium he then performed the Wakanda salute that Boseman made famous in Marvel’s Black Panther franchise.

Posting the two images together in a later post on social media, Hamilton said: “I’m posting this image because we must continue to fight for equality, nothing has changed yet and the battle continues.”