Lewis Hamilton facing penalty in Bahrain as he violates rule

Lewis Hamilton will once again wear a rainbow helmet at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

The Middle East’s presence in Formula 1 has continued to grow once again this season, with races set to be held in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Abu Dhabi this season.

Unfortunately, a lot of regions in the Middle East still find homosexuality illegal and regularly punish homosexuals with prison time.

Lewis Hamilton has made a stand against these awful human rights laws and has shown his support for the LGBT community by wearing a helmet with a rainbow design to races in the Middle East.

This design has been shown off by the Brit in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain in the past couple of seasons and Hamilton is set to do the same again this season.

READ: UK peer urges Lewis Hamilton to boycott some Formula 1 races

During FP1 of the 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton’s helmet featured a rainbow going down the centre of the design, similar to the designs that he wore in the past but with a yellow background rather than black.

While on the surface this gesture may seem no different to when he wore a rainbow design last season, Hamilton’s helmet comes with a lot more risk this year.

The FIA have banned political, religious and personal gestures ahead of the 2023 season, with such gestures being punishable in many ways unless they have been approved by F1’s governing body.

Hamilton has said that he would not hesitate to defy the FIA in order to stand up for what is right and the seven-time world champion has now sent a strong message ahead of the first race of the season.

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It is yet to be seen exactly how the FIA will react to Hamilton’s helmet design, as the rules surrounding such gestures still remain slightly unclear.

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These gestures can be punished via a fine, time penalty and lap deletion to name a few potential consequences, making Hamilton’s gesture a bold one.

The 38-year-old has been urged by Liberal Democrat Life Peer Paul Scriven to begin to boycott races in the Middle East, should F1 not receive assurances about the human rights records of some of their host countries.

While Formula 1 and the FIA claim that they are closely monitoring the issue, how they deal with Hamilton’s defiance will say a lot about they plan to tackle the criticism of some of their host countries.