Lewis Hamilton hailed as ‘fantastic ambassador for the African community’

Lewis Hamilton created the Hamilton Commission in 2020 to discover why black students aren't considering careers in motorsport.

Seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton has been hailed as an “extraordinary Champion” by Ferrari legend Jacky Ickx, with the Belgian ex-F1 driver believing that the Brit is “special” for more than one reason.

Ickx was an incredibly successful driver in both F1 and endurance racing, with the Belgian having won eight F1 races and the Le Mans 24 Hours six times.

Ickx is a huge fan of the 37-year-old’s for his “driving” and also for his activism, with Hamilton having been the “first person” in F1 to have demonstrated his support for Black Lives Matters.

As well as this, Hamilton started the Hamilton Commission in 2020 to discover why so few black students are trying to get a career in motorsport.

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The 103-time GP winner also started a charity in 2021 called Ignite, in collaboration with Mercedes.

Speaking on Hamilton both in himself and with Mercedes, Ickx hailed him as “unique” and ultimately “fantastic”.

“Lewis Hamilton is an extraordinary Champion and he was also driving for a fantastic team in Mercedes-Benz,” Ickx said on former Williams and Ferrari team manager Peter Windsor’s Twitch channel.

“The two together were just a fantastic association and they won everything.

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“But Lewis is special in two aspects. He is special [as] the driver he wanted to be all his life, training for it and the successful man having all the possible records.

“But also he’s the first person to involve himself in such a level of interest to defend Black Lives Matter, for example. He’s unique on that aspect and I don’t know which one is the most fantastic in a way.”

Ickx is hopeful that one day he will actually get to meet the most successful F1 driver of all-time, where he already knows what he will say to him.

“I’ve tried to meet Lewis a number of times and I wish to have the chance to meet him once,” said Ickx.

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“I would say, ‘Lewis, you have been one of the greatest Champions, but what you have done for the human rights of the black community, you are the first one to do have done it and you have done it in such a dimension that I don’t know which quality [is more important].’

“If I had to put [his achievements] in order, is [activism] number one or number two? I am tempted to say number one.

“I wish, one day, I have the chance to meet him because I love the idea to tell him what I feel about it and even more what the black community feels about him. Because I know a number of Africans and they [think] he’s a fantastic ambassador for the African community.”