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Lewis Hamilton To Wear LGBTQ-inspired Rainbow Helmet In Qatar Grand Prix This Weekend

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Lewis Hamilton To Wear LGBTQ-inspired Rainbow Helmet In Qatar Grand Prix This Weekend

Lewis Hamilton will wear a specially designed race helmet at this weekend's Qatar Grand Prix, in a bid to raise awareness of the Gulf state's various human rights abuses.

Sunday's F1 race is the first-ever to be held in Qatar, which has ignited plenty of debate over the integrity of F1's 'We Race As One' message.

A lucrative 10-year deal to host an F1 Grand Prix every year from 2023 inwards was recently signed with the country, which has since been blasted by various human rights groups.

Qatar has strict LGBTQ+ laws, with same-sex relationships being punished by imprisonment.

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Hamilton frequently speaks out on political issues in the countries F1 visits, and he was characteristically outspoken in his Friday press conference.

"We're aware there are issues in these places that we're going to," the seven-time world champion stated.

"As sports go to these places, they are duty-bound to raise awareness for these issues. These places need scrutiny."

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Image Credit: PA
Image Credit: PA

Earlier this season, both Hamilton and four-time F1 world champion Sebastian Vettel were publically critical of Hungary's draconian same-sex laws, with the Brit labelling the nation's government "cowardly".

Vettel, meanwhile, received a reprimand from F1's governing body, the FIA, for wearing a 'Same Love' t-shirt during the national anthem.

Image Credit: PA
Image Credit: PA
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Richard Morris, the co-founder of Racing Pride, told the PA news agency that Hamilton's decision to run the helmet throughout the weekend "fills me with hope."

"There's a lot more work to be done in the sport, but we are starting to move in the right direction," Morris added.

The gesture by Hamilton has been universally praised, especially with the 36-year-old currently involved in a titanic scrap for the F1 driver's world title.

Image Credit: PA
Image Credit: PA
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He trails Red Bull's Max Verstappen by 14 points heading into the final three races of the season, needing a big result in Qatar to really pile the pressure on the Dutchman.

As for the helmet design, it's not yet clear whether it will stay for the first-ever Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in just over a fortnight's time.

Saudi's human rights record has also been widely condemned in recent years, with major sporting events such as Anthony Joshua V Andy Ruiz Jr, as well as WWE bouts, taking place in the Middle-Eastern nation in 2019.

Topics: Mercedes, 2022 World Cup, Lewis Hamilton, F1

Tom Fenton
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