Lewis Hamilton has admitted to feeling uncomfortable competing in Saudi Arabia, due to its anti-LGBTQ+ stance.
The Formula One circus has been pitched in Jeddah for the penultimate race in a thrilling battle for the driver's title.
Hamilton trails Max Verstappen by 8-points ahead of the first ever Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. Indeed, the driver's championship could be put to bed this weekend if Verstappen outscores his Mercedes rival by 18-points.
But the reigning world champion was concerned with weightier matters as he faced the media on Wednesday.
🗣️ "What I truly believe is that everyone should have human rights, freedom of speech, freedom of movement, and there are places where that's not allowed."
Lewis Hamilton speaks passionately about his support for equality and the LGBTQ+ community ahead of the #SaudiArabianGP pic.twitter.com/51nlY5xPPi
— Sky Sports F1 (@SkySportsF1) December 2, 2021
With the Formula One season concluding with a Middle East swing, Hamilton has decided to wear a rainbow-coloured helmet in an attempt to raise the issue of anti-LGBTQ+ laws in Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
He was asked if he felt racing in a county with such notoriously anti-gay statutes.
"Do I feel comfortable here? I wouldn’t say I do,” he said. “But it’s not my choice to be here, the sport has taken the choice to be here."
Hamilton has vowed to continue using his voice as a weapon of change, adding, "“Whilst we are here it’s important we do try to raise awareness,” he said. “In the last race you saw the helmet that I wore.
"I will wear that again here and in the next race [in Abu Dhabi] because it is an issue.
"If anyone wants to take time to read what the law is for the LGBT+ community, it is pretty terrifying. There are changes that need to be made.”