Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has backed Lewis Hamilton in his stand against racism and believes it is a positive for both Formula 1 and his team to have such a vocal character.

Following the death of George Floyd in America, Hamilton has posted a number of anti-racism messages and also challenged his peers to take a stand against racial injustice, having initially criticised his fellow F1 drivers for remaining “silent” on the subject.

Wolff, who experienced discrimination throughout his childhood having been raised in a household with mixed nationalities, said he encouraged and fully supported Hamilton, who is F1’s only black driver.

"I was lucky enough that I was raised in a household with different nationalities, I lived with a Jewish family for a long time, when my family faced tough times and I saw what discrimination looked like as an early child already,” Wolff explained.

“I think all of us have the power to make a change and sometimes it needs events like the ones in the US to trigger a massive wave of support for any minority.

“I think it is good that Lewis as a sports superstar is the one up front with it in a sport that is very much dominated by white males.

“We, as a team, encourage diversity and we choose our people purely on performance and not based on culture, religion or skin colour.

“Every single one of us can make a difference and must be part of a movement to stop these kinds of things from happening.”

Wolff revealed he has “learned a lot” from Hamilton about discrimination after talking to the six-time world champion about the racism he has been subjected to during his childhood and racing career.

Recalling one particular conversation, Wolff said: “He has asked me the question once: 'Have you ever had the active thought that you are white?' And I said: 'No I have never thought about it.'

“And he said: 'Well you know, I need to think about it every day. I'm being made aware that I am.'

“I think therefore, it is very difficult for us to comprehend how difficult it is and therefore I am happy and supportive that he has come out and been so vocal. He is one of the ambassadors of this sport and I think it is good.”

 

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