Lewis Hamilton is hopeful that becoming a seven-time Formula 1 champion has sent out a powerful message that dreams can be realised no matter your background.
While Hamilton has delivered many compelling statements against racism this year, he arguably delivered his most persuasive of all on track in Istanbul with a Turkish Grand Prix victory that underlined his newly-crowned status in equalling Michael Schumacher’s record.
Hamilton is living proof that colour, class or creed are no barriers to success if you are willing to work hard to achieve, cementing his status as a role model for others to follow and plough their own furrows in whatever field.
“It’s obviously no secret that I’ve really walked this sport alone – the only black person here, or the only person of colour here and it’s a really interesting point,” remarked Hamilton.
“The fact is that as I’m bi-racial, whilst it’s the term of the black driver here, I’m bi-racial. I think this colourism, people should perhaps read about.
“When I was younger, I didn’t have anybody in the sport that looked like me, so it was easy to think it’s not possible to get there because nobody of your colour has ever been there.
“You don’t see any black people on tv that are in Formula 1, so hopefully this sends a message to the kids that are watching.
“Hopefully, they’ve seen that performance and hopefully they can see that it doesn’t matter where you come from, whatever your background, it’s so important to you to dream big.”
Hamilton believes if he can plough a lone furrow and emerge creditably, then others can follow in his footsteps and do the same,
“If you are looking at places, industries and you don’t see someone of the same background as you, or the same ethnicity as you, or with the same religion, create your own path,” added the 35-year-old.
“That’s what we did, that’s what I’ve been able to do, and it’s been so tough. Tough doesn’t even describe how hard it’s been.