Lewis Hamilton makes political statement on day one of new season as he wastes no time in taking advantage of F1 U-turn

LEWIS HAMILTON has made a political statement on day one of the new F1 season.

The Brit is ready to roar into action on Sunday at the Bahrain GP.

AFPLewis Hamilton made a political statement ahead of the Bahrain GP[/caption]

AFPThe Mercedes ace wore a helmet with a rainbow flag for the LGBTQ+ community[/caption]

And Hamilton hopes he can finally close down Red Bull star Max Verstappen.

But the Mercedes ace turned heads for a different reason on Friday.

As Hamilton prepared for practice, he emerged wearing a driver’s helmet decorated with a rainbow.

The symbol is globally acknowledged as the flag for the LGBTQ+ community.

Bahrain has been criticised for its stance on homosexuality, which is criminalised.

And Hamilton made his feelings known after the FIA vowed drivers would be able to freely “express their views.”

Last season they had looked to ban stars from “political, religious or personal statements.”

But a U-turn was performed following a backlash.


And Hamilton looked to take advantage immediately.

The seven-time world champ wore the same helmet in Bahrain last season, drawing praise from fans.

Meanwhile, Hamilton has also been boosted after being given a medical exemption to wear his nose studs.

F1 chiefs banned drivers from wearing jewellery last season, but no action will be taken against Hamilton for his nose piercings.

He is now looking forward to starting his season with a big display.

And Hamilton admits he is also ready to commit his future to Mercedes despite concerns over his car.

He said: “[Mercedes] are not where we wanted to start the season. I knew from the moment I drove the car where we were and the challenges we are facing.

Whether or not we have a difficult year, I’ll still be here. I’m a fighter, and we fight as a team

Lewis Hamilton

“On a positive note, not having bouncing is a huge plus and trying to understand what the problems were while having bouncing made it difficult to work out what those are.

“We don’t have that now and we can focus on pure performance. This still is a multi-championship-winning team and group of people.

“Ultimately people are creating rumours without facts. It’s never helpful. And you would have thought they would have both known by now.

“I’ve been with Mercedes since I was 13. Having a difficult year; whether or not we have a difficult year this year, I’ll still be here. I’m a fighter, and we fight as a team.

“I love the challenge of finding solutions. I still believe I’m able to put the car in places that others are perhaps not able to, and I love that challenge.

“Of course I wish that we start the season with a great car. But it’s the journey that really counts.

“So there is no hold up with our contract. I’ve always been very, very relaxed. I don’t feel like I’ve got to get it done right this second. I’m in a very fortunate position.

“It’ll get done when we’re ready. I have a great relationship with Toto and Mercedes, and we fully support each other.

“I’m really excited about the future together. I’m really proud of the work that we’re doing on and off the track, and the potential things we can do going forward. We’ll get there.”