At this weekend’s Qatar Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton is wearing a crash helmet to promote LGBTQ+ rights.
Hamilton’s helmet has a huge pride flag on top that can be seen from the car’s onboard camera, as well as the words “We Stand Together” rather than his usual “Still I Rise.”
Human rights organizations have cited Qatar and Saudi Arabia, where the next round of the Formula One championship will be held in December, as countries that are using the sport to “sportswash” their image by deflecting attention away from violations of human rights.
Qatar’s penal code criminalises same-sex sexual relations, with Human Rights Watch reporting that punishments can range from one to three years in prison.
“I do feel like we’re aware there are issues in these places that we’re going to, as there are all over the world,” Hamilton said at a press conference ahead of the race weekend.
“But of course [Qatar] seems to be deemed as one of the worst in this part of the world.
“I do think as the sports go to these places, they are the duty bound to raise awareness for these issues.
“These places need scrutiny from the media to speak about these things. Equal rights is a serious issue.”
Several masks inspired by Formula One racing drivers are currently available at the following websites for a reasonable price: