Lewis Hamilton pays Naomi Osaka tribute after 'craziest' Tuscan GP
"We have to continue to raise awareness with it and Naomi has been doing amazing, so huge congratulations to her," says Hamilton
By Matt Morlidge
Last Updated: 14/09/20 12:19pm
Lewis Hamilton has labelled tennis star Naomi Osaka an "incredible inspiration" for her vocal anti-racism stance, and - after winning "one of the craziest races" of his F1 career - says he will also continue to raise awareness.
Before and after his hard-fought Tuscan GP victory, Hamilton wore a T-shirt that read 'Arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor' - the aspiring nurse who was shot and killed in her own home by three plain-clothes Louisville police officers in the United States in March. The back of his top contained her picture below the words 'say her name'.
In using his platform to call for justice for Taylor, Hamilton followed in the footsteps of Osaka who, on her way to a superb US Open victory earlier this month, wore seven different face masks - each bearing the name of a black victim of alleged police or racist violence.
And Hamilton, who wore his shirt during the pre-race anti-racism F1 ceremony and on top of the podium afterwards, paid tribute to Osaka.
"We have to continue to raise awareness with it and Naomi has been doing amazing, so huge congratulations to her," said the six-time F1 world champion.
"I think she's an incredible inspiration with what she's done with her platform. I think we just have to continue to push on the issue."
Earlier on Sunday, Hamilton had praised Osaka on social media.
"Leading by example," he posted alongside a picture of Osaka wearing her masks.
"No matter how, we have to keep using our voices to prevent innocent black lives from being taken."
'Exhausted' Hamilton reacts to epic Tuscan GP
On his way to a 90th F1 win, Hamilton successfully handled a Mugello race which included three starts on the grid, two red flags, huge multi-car crashes and eight retirements.
"This was definitely one of the craziest races I've had," Hamilton admitted to Sky F1's Rachel Brookes. "It felt like I had three races in one day, and I'm pretty exhausted to be honest."
He added: "Today was physically and mentally one of the most challenging days I've experienced."
Hamilton lost the lead from pole at the start of the race but after a Safety Car and red flag, overtook Valtteri Bottas for the lead - which he never relinquished as he moved 55 points clear in the 2020 standings.
"I didn't do a good start the first time, then we had the rolling start which wasn't good, and then the standing start from second was obviously better," Hamilton explained.
"And then I had a seven-second gap and was pretty comfortable, and then another [red flag].
"Of course, anything can happen on those starts - but finally I got the best start of the day [third time round].
"But then after that Valtteri was right there the whole time. If I had made any mistake he would have slip-streamed me up this 1000-metre straight."