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Lewis Hamilton on Black Power salute: Moment I'll never forget

Hamilton says he was inspired by Tommie Smith and John Carlos; Hamilton also calls Mercedes engineer Stephanie Travers an inspiration

Lewis Hamilton says his Black Power salute after winning last week's Styrian GP was an "important moment", and one he will never forget.

Hamilton raised a clenched fist on top of his Mercedes car and on top of the podium last Sunday, with the gesture mirroring the famous image of American sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos from the 1968 Olympics.

It was a powerful latest show of support and solidarity from the six-time Formula 1 champion, who has been vocal about equality and anti-racism.

Hamilton said he has not met Smith and Carlos, now 76 and 75 respectively, "but of course I remember seeing and reading about their experience and seeing the iconic image of their salute".

"That was inspiring for me," Hamilton explained. "Racism is something that has been around for hundreds of years and the fight continues.

When's the Hungarian GP on Sky F1?
When's the Hungarian GP on Sky F1?

All the key TV times for Sky Sports F1 this weekend for round three of the 2020 season in Budapest.

"When you've got icons, people like that who have stood up against this battle, I just find it inspiring.

"I just took a page out of their book, realising I have this platform, I have this opportunity to continue to raise awareness, and to try and unite people. To try and educate myself, but also educate other people.

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He added: "That was really where it came from. It felt like the right moment, it felt an important moment for me. I'll never forget that moment."

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Six-time world champion Lewis Hamilton described Stephanie Travers as 'inspiring' after she became the first black woman to stand on an F1 podium

Hamilton's praise for Travers, calls for more women in F1

After the anti-racism salute, which was made following the renditions of the British and German national anthems after last weekend's race, Hamilton was joined on the podium by Stephanie Travers.

Travers, a trackside engineer for Mercedes fuel suppliers Petronas, became the first black woman on an F1 podium in the process.

Hamilton paid tribute to her in a lengthy Instagram post, and added to Sky F1 ahead of this weekend's Hungarian GP: "I was very grateful to the team.

"I thought it was really important to highlight that moment, being in that in 70 years of Formula 1 they've not had a black woman stand up there.

"I just really wanted to give praise to her and the team for acknowledging the importance of the moment and making sure that it happened."

Hamilton has called for more women in the sport after the podium first.

"When we talk about diversity, that doesn't just mean race," the Englishman insisted.

"It is a male-dominated sport and particularly a white male-dominated sport. It really needs to shift and it has to come from the top. There needs to be more women in this sport. And how we do that, it's having people like Steff up there inspiring young kids, who one day will want to be here.

"If I wasn't here I don't know how much this sport would be reacting to the current times, but the fact is I am and we are. And I think that people are taking note which is great.

"I think we've just really got to take action. There must be so many people from all races and religion that want to work in this sport, there's so many roles.

"Just across the board we need to do more to make it more open and more accessible. When you hear people say it's so accessible to everyone, there's a few older figures who have been saying this, it's absolute rubbish and that's what we've got to change."

Watch the Hungarian GP live only on Sky Sports F1 this weekend. Sunday's race begins at 2.10pm. Get Sky F1 for an extra £10 a month now.

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