LONDON, United Kingdom, May 2 – Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has bemoaned a lack of class diversity in the motor sport, saying “the situation is worse than ever before”.
The six-time World Champion has said in the past that working-class children had no chance of making it into Formula 1 because they are leapfrogged by rich kids, an argument which Sebastian Vettel has supported.
Recently British racing driver Oliver Rowland said he was “p*ssed off” with drivers like Hamilton who spoke out about the situation, but then did nothing to help.
But Hamilton has again spoken out about the issue, as well as a lack of diversity in Formula 1.
In an interview with Style Magazine, he said: “I’ve never had a quitting mindset and that’s part of the reason I’m where I am today, but there have been many difficult moments.
“I remember coming home from school, super excited to go karting, and my dad having to tell me that we didn’t have enough money to go that week. The other kids at the track didn’t have those worries.
“The truth is that it was incredibly hard for me to break into this industry.
“I wish I could say it was better today but if anything, I think the situation is worse than ever before.
“Motor racing is so expensive that working-class and lower-income brackets are excluded from the outset.”
Hamilton believes the lack of diversity flows throughout Formula 1 and it stops children in the UK from believing it is possible for them to make it into the sport.
“There is a saying we use in the UK: “You can’t be it if you can’t see it,” he said.
“Kids need to see successful people who look like them to know that their dreams are achievable.
“Sadly, in Formula 1 today, there is an overall lack of diversity: not only among drivers, but also among engineers and mechanics.
“If we don’t make the effort to create pathways to give those from different backgrounds a chance, we will all be to blame.”