Lewis Hamilton has only one condition, otherwise the Formula 1 superstar even supports possible actions by environmental activists at his home race.
Years ago he proudly posed in front of his red private jet. It was not uncommon for there to be photos in social networks with swanky cars. But Hamilton has long been using its fame and the Formula 1 platform to fight for human rights, for equal treatment and diversity - and also for sustainability. "I support peaceful protest," he says explicitly before the British Grand Prix.
F1 is prepared for protest actions
After actions at the tennis classic in Wimbledon, among other things, the premier class of motorsport has prepared. Around 100 marshals are also deployed, said Hamilton. Because there is one thing he wants and none of those responsible want to see and experience again: That activists climb over the fences and sit on the track while the race is on, just like they did a year ago. "We don't want them to endanger themselves and we don't want anyone else to be endangered," emphasizes Hamilton: Safety is the top priority. Colleagues say that too, but they don't clearly endorse the general protest.
Hamilton can afford it, he also makes it easy. He takes the concerns and political demands of environmental activists seriously. He and the Mercedes team believe in what these people are fighting for, he even said, also pointing to the changes that Formula 1 itself is going through. In 2026, for example, half of the cars will be powered electrically, so the fuel will be 100 percent sustainable.
Hamilton has been eating vegan for a long time, he sold the private jet four years ago. Instead of highly motorized luxury cars, he tends to post photos of crisis areas or devastating natural events. Hamilton has to listen to allegations of hypocrisy that a Formula 1 driver who travels a lot is committed to the environment.
Hamilton: "Protest stimulates conversation"
However, he will not be dissuaded from his path, which, despite the still unsigned new contract with Mercedes, is to continue in Formula 1 after this season. Instead, with a view to possible actions by the Just Stop Oil group at Silverstone over the weekend, he affirmed: "Protest stimulate conversation, which leads to dialogue and that often helps. Sometimes, if you do it on the right track, it triggers change. And we need more change." Just as Hamilton himself has changed since joining in 2007 as the first black man to become what Ferrari colleague and rival Charles Leclerc called "more than a driver".
Wherever Hamilton shows up, the fans freak out. Wherever he is, the fashion lover and hobby designer attracts attention, which is not only due to his loyal companion named Roscoe, a bulldog with his own Instagram account. Hamilton is also a consultant for a spectacular Formula 1 film project, and he knows the main actor Brad Pitt very well. With show stars and super athletes, Hamilton is on you and you.
But at Silverstone, Hamilton also remembers the beginnings, the daydreams as a little boy, growing up in Stevenage around 90 kilometers away. The father, who immigrated from Grenada in the Caribbean, took on additional jobs. The brother was born with infantile cerebral palsy. Anyone who sees the two together experiences how close they are. Nicolas is an inspiration for him, says Lewis Hamilton. Most recently he watched a race of his brother, who is seven years his junior, at Donington Park, almost disguised to remain undetected.
This weekend, however, the focus is on Lewis Hamilton. And it will also be an emotional journey through time for the 38-year-old 103-time Grand Prix winner. "I must have been 13 or 14," he recalls of his first visit to a Formula 1 race at Silverstone. "I stood behind the garage and dreamed of sitting in a car like that one day."