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Why Does Lewis Hamilton Have His Britishness Questioned?

By July 24, 2019 No Comments

Lewis Hamilton is comfortably Britain’s most successful F1 driver and has enjoyed a supreme run of success at his home race in previous years, winning five of the last six races at Silverstone. The five-time world champion is a resident of Monaco, something he has been criticised for by U.K. media in the past.

Lewis Hamilton was born and raised in Stevenage in which he openly admits he battled poverty as he remembers lying on a beaten-up sofa in his father’s council flat as a youngster watching drug dealers at work across the road.

He remembers his father Anthony working at three jobs to finance his son’s karting career, bunking off school to travel to races all over the country where Anthony would fettle his kart and then the black kid from the new town of Stevenage would beat the children with the posh motorhomes and the teams of mechanics.

However, after a hugely successful career in which he is now chasing his sixth world title, he is constantly bombarded with questions over his Britishness.

When it was suggested he was not universally popular in the U.K because “you live in Monaco and your accent isn’t maybe as British as others”, he said there was no doubt to question the authenticity of his heritage.

“I don’t think I have an answer to that,” he said. “It is crazy because every driver I watched growing up, I remember watching Jenson Button, and all the youngsters come through and everyone lives in Monaco and nobody ever says anything.”

“No matter how often you go aboard or elsewhere in the world you come back to the U.K. and see the beautiful countryside, the history of Formula One as a sport here and I see all my family who are also here and this, of course, feels where my heart is.”

Britain Is Built On Diversity

It seems bizarre that Hamilton constantly faces questions around his heritage and he raises a very valid point in the fact that many other stars both in F1 and other sports never face these questions despite also living abroad.

And Britain is a place that is built on diversity and hosts and society that is supposed to be open to everyone. Just last week England’s amazing cricket team won the World Cup in the best game seen for years. The two men who were pivotal to that success were Ben Stokes (New Zealand born) and Jofra Archer (Barbados Born) were never questioned about their heritage and the notion that they aren’t British has never been questioned. Other notable names include Mo Farah, Chris Froome, Johanna Konta and many more.

The questions over Lewis Hamilton may never go away and the fact that certain people constantly question his heritage and nationality despite to career that he has had and will build on in the coming years seems disrespectful to say the least.

It also must be very tiresome for Hamilton to constantly have to answer these questions as he also stated “I go to all these races and wear the British flag proudly and there is no one else who has raised it so high. For most that might not be enough but I’ll keep looking to see what else I can do. For those that do follow me I really do appreciate their support.”