Words: Alastair James; pictures: Twitter/@lewisHamilton and @F1
The British Formula One driver, Lewis Hamilton, has been praised for showing solidarity with the LGBTQ community as he won the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix over the weekend.
The most successful driver in Formula One's history wore his rainbow emblazoned helmet at he came first in the race on Sunday (5 December), beating his rival Max Verstappen. Hamilton also wore the helmet at November's Grand Prix in Qatar, which he also won.
Before the event, Hamilton had also spoken out against Saudi Arabia's record on LGBTQ rights saying, "I believe everyone should have equal rights, freedom of speech, freedom of movement".
"Bold and fearless"
Reacting after Hamilton's win in Saudi Arabia, footballing commentator, Gary Lineker, tweeted about the "outstanding performance and victory," adding, "Great to see him [Hamilton] wearing his rainbow helmet."
Unbelievably bonkers Grand Prix. Outstanding performance and victory from @LewisHamilton despite everything being thrown at him. Great to see him wearing his rainbow helmet. The 🐐 pic.twitter.com/iusgQfrg8I— Gary Lineker 💙 (@GaryLineker) December 5, 2021
Another Twitter user called Hamilton "bold and fearless", while another said the victory in a country like Saudi Arabia was "a huge statement".
Winner of the #SaudiArabiaGP is a human rights activist sportsman, who again wore his pride crash helmet. Audacious on da race track is Lewis Hamilton. Bold and fearless 2 support human and lgbt rights in Qatar and Saudi Arabia. The world needs more champions like #LewisHamilton pic.twitter.com/kdrFIyTyOw— cheryl roberts (@cherylroberts00) December 5, 2021
Another person said: "that Pride helmet means a lot to me and a lot of other people. Thanks my guy"
Same-sex relations are criminalised in the Middle-Eastern country, with punishments including imprisonment and floggings. Gay marriage is all illegal and there are frew protections when it comes to LGBTQ discrimination.
The Grand Prix Championship will be decided next Saturday in Abu Dhabi.