Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Aston Martin F1 Team. (AFP via Getty/ Pool/ FLORION GOGA)
Lewis Hamilton has slammed Formula One’s “bulls**t” decision to discipline Sebastien Vettel for wearing a Pride t-shirt at the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Hamilton took aim at the Formula One ruling body after German driver Vettel was reprimanded for wearing a “same love” rainbow t-shirt as he took the knee during the Hungarian national anthem on Sunday (1 August).
In a now-deleted message on Instagram, Lewis Hamilton, 36, expressed sympathy for his long-time rival.
“Super proud of this guy,” he wrote. “There is no rule that says what colour shirt you can wear and supporting the LGBTQ+ community is not reprimandable. This is BS.
“Well done, Seb. I’ll join you next time with the same shirt.”
Hamilton later updated his post, adding: “Love to see this Seb supporting the LGBTQ+ community. Love always wins.”
Both Hamilton and Vettel have been outspoken in their support for Hungary’s LGBT+ community in the wake of a new law banning all portrayals of LGBT+ people in media, school materials and advertisements.
Lewis Hamilton has openly criticised the “cowardly” Hungarian government over the ban, while Vettel conspicuously wore a pair of Pride-themed Converse shortly after arriving in Budapest.
When asked about his choice of footwear, the driver told Autosport it was “embarrassing for a country who is in the EU to have to vote or have some laws like this.”
Sebastian Vettel dismisses reprimand, says he ‘would do it again’
Sebastian Vettel continued unflinching support throughout the Hungarian national anthem, while three other drivers – Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas, Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz and Vettel’s teammate Lance Stroll – wore t-shirts that read “We race as one.”
Under FIA rules, drivers are permitted to carry a message that corresponds with the sport’s We Race As One initiative during the pre-race ceremony, but the clothing must be removed for the anthem.
All four claimed they’d “forgotten” to take the t-shirts off because it had been raining. Each were later reprimanded for their “failure to follow the instructions of the relevant officials for the safe and orderly conduct of the event”.
“I’m happy if they disqualify me,” Vettel replied. “They can do whatever they want to me, I don’t care. I would do it again.”
On Sunday Vettel was disqualified from the event for a different reason – because a sufficient fuel sample could not be taken from his car. Aston Martin is appealing the decision.