23 July 2020

Lewis Hamilton ‘disappointed’ by ‘plain ignorance’ as he hits back at Mario Andretti and Jackie Stewart

Lewis Hamilton has hit back at Formula 1 legends Mario Andretti and Jackie Stewart, labelling their comments around race issues in the sport as ‘plain ignorance’.

The six-time world champion has been extremely vocal about the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement since it began in the US in May.

Andretti (left) has labelled some of Hamilton's actions as 'pretentious' (DPA/PA Images)

And he has also been pro-active in setting up a commission to encourage more diversity in F1 as he is currently the only black driver.

But Andretti, who won races in F1, IndyCar and NASCAR during the 60s, 70s and 80s, questioned the motive behind Hamilton’s campaigning.

He told Chilean newspaper El Mercurio: "I have a lot of respect for Lewis, but why become a militant? He's always been accepted and he's earned everyone's respect.

"I think the whole point of this is pretentious. I feel that way. And it's creating a problem that doesn't exist."

Hamilton then responded on Instagram by saying: "This is disappointing but unfortunately a reality that some of the older generation who still have a voice today cannot get out of their own way and acknowledge there is a problem.

"Again, this is plain ignorance but that will not stop me from continuing to push for change. It is never too late to learn and I hope that this man who I've always had respect for can take the time to educate himself."

Hamilton (left) has criticised Stewart (right) for his comments (Imago/PA Images)

Three-time world champion Stewart also spoke about Hamilton’s activism by insisting racism in the sport is not as bad as is currently being portrayed.

Speaking on Good Morning Britain, he said: "I think Lewis has been a great example to lots of people. He's quite vocal about these elements, I don't think there's as big a problem as there might seem.

"There is no resistance for change if someone is clever and good at what they do. They will be accepted in Formula 1."

Hamilton responded to Stewart by adding another Instagram story which read: "Again, another one. Just disappointing."

Hamilton’s team Mercedes are racing the season in black cars as a sign of solidarity with the BLM movement.

And the Brit has carried on his campaign for equality by doing the Black Power salute on the podiums during the three races so far.

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