Lewis Hamilton claims he is willing to risk jail time

Lewis Hamilton's 2023 helmet includes the LGBT+ flag in its design.

Seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton has hit out at governments across the world, who continue to restrict the rights of women and those in the LGBT+ community.

Hamilton has been a huge supporter and campaigner for women’s rights and LGBT+ rights, with the Mercedes driver often seen wearing supportive clothing in countries where the issues are present.

The 38-year-old famously wore a stunning LGBT-themed helmet at the Middle Eastern races in 2021 and in 2022, with the likes of Qatar and Saudi Arabia being places where same-sex marriage is illegal.

Hamilton’s helmet this season also features the LGBT+ flag, with the 103-time race winner not concerned at all whether his support results in him being thrown “in jail”.

Want to work in Formula 1? Browse the latest F1 job vacancies

“For me, it is mind blowing that we live in a time still where there are so many countries around the world but particularly a lot of human rights issues in the middle east,” Hamilton said on Mercedes’ YouTube channel.

“Women’s rights, LGBT rights. There are laws that restrict people from being their true selves. I have always been a risk taker, and like ‘I’m going to do this whether or not they throw me in jail, I don’t care what they’re going to do’. I would stand for something I believe in, even if it kills me.”

It’s not just women’s rights and the LGBT+ community that Hamilton has been a vocal support of in recent years, with the Stevenage-born driver having also been a key figure in F1’s campaign in support of ‘Black Lives Matter’.

One of the most famous pictures in modern F1 is from 2020, where four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel took the knee alongside Hamilton, following the murder of George Floyd.

Article continues below

READ: ‘First blaming yourself’: Ex-team boss on Charles Leclerc

“It was an uproar of people finally standing up and saying enough was enough of what was happening around the world,” Hamilton continued.

“This was a really tough year because I’d gone through the sport as the only person of colour from my whole career. I remember coming to the first race wearing a Black Lives Matter T-shirt, and I remember Seb standing by me and taking the knee with me.

“We stood arm in arm against lots of different causes. I was grateful for Seb being with me.”