Lewis Hamilton has taken aim at Formula One’s ruling body, severely criticising its decision to reprimand Sebastian Vettel for wearing a T-shirt in support of the LGBTQ+ community before the Hungarian Grand Prix.
The four-time world champion Vettel wore a “same love” rainbow T-shirt during the Hungarian national anthem on Sunday. Under FIA rules, drivers are permitted to carry a message that conveys the sport’s We Race As One initiative during the pre-race ceremony. But the clothing must be removed for the national anthem.
Vettel was called to see the stewards. He explained that he forgot to remove his T-shirt because of the onset of rain. Valtteri Bottas, Carlos Sainz and Lance Stroll were also reprimanded after they failed to take off their We Race As One T-shirts.
Vettel, who was stripped of his second place because of a fuel infringement, told Sky Sports: “I’m happy if they disqualify me. They can do whatever they want to me, I don’t care. I would do it again.”
In a now-deleted message on Instagram, Hamilton posted in support of Vettel. The British driver said: “Super proud of this guy. There is no rule that says what colour shirt you can wear and supporting the LGBTQ+ community is not repremandable [sic]. This is bs. Well done, Seb. I’ll join you next time with the same shirt.”
Hamilton later updated his post, writing: “Love to see this Seb supporting the LGBTQ+ community. Love always wins.”
The English driver heads into the sport’s summer break with an eight-point advantage over Max Verstappen following the chaotic race on Sunday. The seven-time world champion raced from last to third – upgraded to runner-up following Vettel’s disqualification – with a supreme recovery drive.
Hamilton will now use the four-week break to recharge his batteries after revealing he was experiencing symptoms of long Covid-19.