Lewis Hamilton is a lot more than a former Formula One World Champion or a driver for Mercedes-AMG Petronas. As he explains it, being the sport's first black driver has allowed him to knock down barriers in a way that few in F1 can.

"I get kids from all different cultures and nationalities coming up to me now, all wanting to be F1 drivers. They feel the sport is open to everyone," Hamilton told the BBC's Andrew Benson.

That was just one thing that was brought to light when Hamilton took part in the Top Gear Festival Barbados, which saw the F1 ace "race" rally star Ken Block. Hamilton discusses his role as an F1 driver in the context of his familial ties to the Caribbean.

It's an interesting read for sure, and one we recommend you hop over and take a look at. Head over to the BBC Sport website, and let us know what you think.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 86 Comments
      d.hollywood
      • 7 Months Ago
      While I'm happy to see Lewis Hamilton-as someone who happens to be black make it to F1 and do well...it should be noted that making it to F1 as a driver of any color is an amazing feat.One that is'nt attainable for the most part...no matter who you are.What would be FAR MORE IMPRESSIVE to me is to see the companies that OWN THE RACE TEAMS BE BLACK OWNED. THAT WOULD SAY FAR BETTER THINGS TO ME ABOUT RACIAL AND ECONOMIC PROGRESS THAN a mere driver.
        ROBERT
        • 7 Months Ago
        @d.hollywood
        baby steps... lol.
        wrc_addict
        • 7 Months Ago
        @d.hollywood
        Hamilton is actually one of the lucky ones in the sport compared to the other drivers, He's had ties with Mclaren since he was a teen and he was "groomed" to take a seat in the team. He always had that guarantee.
      ScottT
      • 7 Months Ago
      Seems like a pretty benign comment to me. He's in the Caribbean, which he has family ties to. He asked about his race and he said he's happy he's been able to add some interest to his sport to kids from different cultures. What's the issue??? What's he supposed to say? "I don't care if I raised the profile of the sport to certain people?" "FU, what does my race have to do with it?" "That's a stupid question, why don't you ask me about my white mother?"
      owen brown
      • 7 Months Ago
      Hmmm, Looks like anything will pass for black nowadays. I'm black and we look nothing alike. What gives?
        The Law
        • 7 Months Ago
        @owen brown
        Do Obama look black or no? Or do you have be Wesley Snipes black? I'm just asking.
      johnnyhedwardsjr
      • 7 Months Ago
      I see that people always comment about the "race" of mixed raced individuals such as Obama and Hamilton. Well I'll tell you like this. There was a law at one time that if you had 1 drop of African blood then you were no longer white. The children of Slaves who had children with their white masters from rape where still considered black and were still considered slaves and were still considered 3/5th of a human... Until 150 years ago when slavery was abolished. Then up until about 50 years ago blacks of all shades where still denied basic rights... Regardless whether they were 50% or even 75% white. So yes, they are considered "black" by history's standards.
        d.hollywood
        • 7 Months Ago
        @johnnyhedwardsjr
        So true. Many wish to pretend that was never the case. They usually white...and they are usually the ones waving the "post -racial" flag most furiously.
          d.hollywood
          • 7 Months Ago
          @d.hollywood
          "THEY'RE" (typo) AUTOBLOG...please incorporate an "edit" function.
      Shahul X
      • 7 Months Ago
      That's one of f1's elite racers too, Him an Alonso... It's ridculous the money you need to actually get into racing though
      Kevin Potts
      • 6 Months Ago
      I generally ignore these articles that talk about Hamilton's racial background, but I got to say it's good to see that he's having a positive effect on a wider audience, much like Tiger Woods did.
      Pedro Martins
      • 7 Months Ago
      first, sorry for bad english. Really, I think unnecessary classify him as the first black pilot, this is a pretty obvious thing and need not be restated. And do not think we can say that the sport is accessible to all while still is an expensive sport that leaves no room without personal financial conditions.
      Merc1
      • 7 Months Ago
      WOW the tone here explains a lot. M
      Hajime1990 #follow
      • 7 Months Ago
      I'm sure he isn't the first black F1 driver in history. There was a Thai driver back in the old days and he was black.
        Mr.Roadrage
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Hajime1990 #follow
        I think you're talking about Birabongse Bhanudej. He was not black, but Asian, as are all Thais. You've mixed up your continents.
      JF GeSchmidtt
      • 7 Months Ago
      Most commenters live in a white, middle class bubble. To think that race doesn't matter in the US or the world at large is at best naive. Does anyone remember when Lewis showed up for the first time in Barcelona for practice and there were racial signs being held up in the stands and booing? It would obviously be great if our world was color blind and a meritocracy but until that time guys like Lewis (who is bi racial but identifies himself as black and is largely perceived that way) make a difference.
        Pj Taintz
        • 7 Months Ago
        @JF GeSchmidtt
        so you are saying spainish people hate blacks??
          ROBERT
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Pj Taintz
          Isn't it in Spain where they taunt black Soccer players by throwing Banana peels on the field?
          d.hollywood
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Pj Taintz
          My experience is that many of them do.
          Quen47
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Pj Taintz
          Yes, he just said all 40,000,000 or so Spanish citizens hate black people. I just re-read his comment and that's exactly right.
      Stinkyboy
      • 7 Months Ago
      He voted for Obama?
        Stinkyboy
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Stinkyboy
        Notice the "?"
          sstowes
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Stinkyboy
          What would it matter if it did (he's British so he couldn't even if he wanted to)? I don't understand the purpose of posing the question in the first place. I know plenty of blacks that DIDN'T vote for Obama. Take that nonsense somewhere else.
        MotionDesigner
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Stinkyboy
        ^Troll^
        Kunal Bhan
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Stinkyboy
        Are you seriously f***ing kidding me? 1. Lewis Hamilton is British and has no voting rights in the US. If you had a modicum of intelligence, you'd make sense when you speak. 2. There's no mention of politics in Turkus' article and yet you feel the need to drag in Obama's name? What's the point? While I lean left I'm not happy with him, but I don't see the point of mentioning his name in every bloody conversation and what that does for everything. Can't we just leave politics out of this? It's highlighting Lewis Hamilton being the face for a potentially future generation of F1 drivers. And Hamilton expressing his awareness and the subsequent joy it brings him. We don't see many black people in car racing and he's one of, if not the only, examples of one who has done extremely well shoeing other minority kids they can too potentially be in F1. Not exactly similar to, but the same idea like when Eminem and the Beastie Boys did for white people and rap music.
        Teleny411
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Stinkyboy
        I seriously think some of these old men have homoerotic feelings about Obama. Every post in any sort of blog gets an Obama shout out. Turn on the radio and some old man is shouting about Obama. Give it a rest. Get a picture of Obama, and whack off in silence. Please!
      kimidam
      • 7 Months Ago
      I don't get this "black" thing. Complete nonsense & selfish, if you ask me. If they (african-americans/black/whatever-politically-correct-name) already fought for equality and then won it, why do they keep reminding themselves that they're black and they can do stuff? They're the ones still discriminating & labeling themselves as black. They're already equal, why still taunt & flaunt it? It's simply stirring up more discriminating & biasing talk. If they're already treated as equal, Lewis Hamilton or Obama are not special people because of their race or color. They're normal people who've fought through & become successful and they deserve the right to command praise solely for their achievements and not because they're black. I agree, it's important to remember the sacrifices & honor the fighters but come on, it's been a few hundred years and this is the 21st century. There's no room for "Hey, look, I'm black and I can do this" or "Hey, I'm a woman and I can do this"... Nope! You've already fought for equality & you've won. So shut up and sleep with the laurels that you gained on merit. Full Disclosure: I'm a huuuuge F1 nut and I'm not a Lewis fan but a Kimi fan, I do support Obama (or atleast I did). I do not bias people on color & gender in full honesty but I do discriminate them on merit and based on what they can do.
        sstowes
        • 7 Months Ago
        @kimidam
        Since when did being black become a "thing?" "I do not bias people on color & gender in full honesty but I do discriminate them on merit and based on what they can do." You sure about that? Because your first and last sentences are complete contradictions of one another, whether you realize it or not. And if you honestly think all men are now considered equal and that blacks are racist towards themselves, so racism only exists because black people "keep reminding themselves they're black", you really do live in a bubble. Ignorance is bliss.
        Merc1
        • 7 Months Ago
        @kimidam
        One of the dumbest comments ever on this site. Your bonehead thinking is exactly why this country is the way it is today when it comes to race. M
    • Load More Comments