Lewis Hamilton has recalled how his life "flashed through his eyes" when he clinched his seventh F1 World Championship at the 2020 Turkish Grand Prix.
The season marked a change for Mercedes, with the team opting to run an all-black livery to take a stand against racism and discrimination.
This came after Hamilton showed his support for the Black Lives Matter movement, as well as launching The Hamilton Commission to identify the barriers to the recruitment and progression of people from ethnic minorities in UK motorsport.
Hamilton admits that he has become increasingly involved in looking at issues relating to diversity and inclusion as part of the Silver Arrows squad in recent years, with this leading to the change of livery in 2020 and 2021.
Hamilton on diversity efforts
"Usually when I'm in conversation with sponsors or companies, I'm like, 'Hey, so how diverse is your team? What are you doing about diversity [and] inclusion? How are you creating a better workspace for people?'" Hamilton told the On Purpose with Jay Shetty podcast.
"That's what I want to be a part of. The success can come later and that will be along the way, but if you're not asking those questions, or you're not tackling those issues, then we're not aligned.
"And so [with] pretty much every partner that we have – we have a lot of partners within our team – I've asked these really difficult questions."
Hamilton has praised the role that Mercedes have played in supporting his efforts.
"I've think I've grown very close with Mercedes Benz and Daimler," he continued.
"They've been so open that we changed the car from silver to black in 2020. I said to them, 'The car's been silver forever, it's always been Silver Arrows. Imagine if we change the car to black. Imagine the message we can send.'
"We had the black car for the whole year. We didn't even really talk much about it, we just let it be. And we won with it, that's when I won my seventh world title with that car."
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Emotions of seventh title victory
Hamilton won his seventh World Championship – equalling the record held by Michael Schumacher in the process – at the Turkish Grand Prix in 2020 whilst racing with the black livery.
He admits that this proved to be an emotional moment.
"Honestly, my whole life flashed by," Hamilton explained.
"[During] that last lap in Turkey, my whole life, all the struggles, questioning whether you were going to make it or not, all those doubts, all those fears, kind of flashed through my eyes.
"[I] came across the line and I was like, 'I did it', and I want the kids out there to know that you can do it too. So that's what I try, every day, just try to be encouraging of kids."
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