RACING

Lewis Hamilton: We all need to speak up | Schiff “has a louder voice” than trolls

ADVERTISEMENT

Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton has spoken out in support of Sky Sports pundit Naomi Schiff after her credentials were questioned on social media; Former IndyCar and NASCAR trailblazing driver Danica Patrick also lent her support to Schiff

Last update: 06/17/22 8:06 p.m.

ADVERTISEMENT

Please use Chrome browser for more accessible video player

Lewis Hamilton thinks Sky Sports F1’s Naomi Schiff is doing an amazing job of showing girls it’s possible to play a role in Formula 1

Lewis Hamilton thinks Sky Sports F1’s Naomi Schiff is doing an amazing job of showing girls it’s possible to play a role in Formula 1

Lewis Hamilton has vowed to use social media to continue fighting for greater diversity in Formula 1 after showing his support for Naomi Schiff earlier in the week.

Schiff, a racing driver and professional stuntwoman who competed in the W Series in 2019 before becoming the championship’s diversity and inclusion ambassador, had her credentials questioned on Twitter after appearing in her role of sky sports commentator for last weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Seven-time world champion Hamilton, who himself has been the victim of social media abuse in the past, was quick to show his support for the 28-year-old and reiterated that ahead of the first training for the Canadian Grand Prix as well as declaring his intention to continue using his platform to speak out against injustice.

“At the end of the day, that’s what I tried to do and that’s what social media is for,” Hamilton said. “It’s a great platform to share messages with friends, but there’s so much misinformation out there that it’s important to find something out and share it.

“It’s a great place and ground to shine a light on certain issues and topics. Naomi doesn’t need me to speak for her, but I know what it’s like to be at the end of abuse and racial abuse.

“Representation is so important; we live in a male-dominated sport and Naomi is one of the first people of color, and one of the only people since I’ve been here in Formula 1. That’s a huge responsibility to stand up and be the only one and then receive hate for nothing is awful and unacceptable, so I think it’s important that we all stick together.

“She’s doing an amazing job, so for all the young girls from different backgrounds who are watching and seeing that it’s possible to have a role in this sport and the ecosystem is so, so important. But ignorance is a happiness, right? We all have to talk, we all have to work together, and we can all be better.”

Hamilton has seen changes since entering Formula 1 in 2007 and explained how his Mercedes team’s workforce has become increasingly diverse in recent years.

However, the 37-year-old believes there is still a lot of work to be done, particularly when it comes to attracting more women into the sport on the engineering side.

“There is so much work we need to do to improve representation and opportunities for women at all levels within teams and in sport,” Hamilton said.

“I think it’s progressed a lot. I can only think of my own team, for example, when I go back to the factory there’s a huge increase in women coming in, more so in the marketing and HR space but in terms of engineers we are going to have to encourage more young women and girls to get into these subjects and create opportunities, I think that is part of my role in the substantive work with Stefano [Domenicali, Formula 1 Group CEO] and the FIA ​​to ensure they create a more inclusive environment for everyone.

We all need to speak up, we all need to work together, and we can all be better.

Lewis Hamilton

“I arrive here, and we’ve been talking about it for a while, and you don’t see much difference when you’re standing behind the camera or walking around the paddock, it’s not moving as much as I would have hoped, but it’s a conversation I’m grateful to continue.”

Patrick: Schiff “has a much louder voice” than trolls

In addition to current Formula 1 drivers, former IndyCar and NASCAR trailblazer Danica Patrick also lent her support to Schiff.

Patrick, the first woman to win an IndyCar race and the top female finisher in NASCAR’s prestigious Daytona 500, appears on sky sports as a guest expert for this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix.

And she challenged those who send insults on social networks.

Naomi Schiff chats with Lewis Hamilton to talk about last season in Abu Dhabi and her aspirations for 2022

Please use Chrome browser for more accessible video player

Naomi Schiff chats with Lewis Hamilton to talk about last season in Abu Dhabi and her aspirations for 2022

Naomi Schiff chats with Lewis Hamilton to talk about last season in Abu Dhabi and her aspirations for 2022

“She’s got a much louder voice than the five seconds the person tweeting is going to have,” Patrick said.

“The way I always looked at it was this: at least I don’t have a bitter life – because all they can do is scream negativity.

“It just shows you their headspace and to be honest all the drivers have said that and so I echo them. It’s a situation you’ll never fully recover from but once in a while it’s a kinda fun to push it and get people to fight for you.”

Hate won’t win

sky sports is committed to making skysports.com and our channels on social media platforms a place for comment and debate free from abuse, hate and profanity.

For more information visit: www.skysports.com/againstonlinehate

If you see a response to sky sports messages and/or content with an expression of hatred on the basis of race, sex, color, gender, nationality, ethnicity, disability, religion, sexuality, age or social class, please copy the URL of the hate message and capture it and email us here.

ADVERTISEMENT