Lewis Hamilton has been named by Time magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People of 2020; an achievement that was recognized by Bubba Wallace.
The six-time Formula 1 world champion was first listed in 2016, but this year has been included again as he looks set to break records in motorsport at the same time as being a driving force behind F1’s ‘EndRacism’ and ‘WeRaceAsOne’ campaigns. Mercedes has even changed its livery for this year to bring further attention to the ongoing movement seeking racial equality, while Hamilton has used his platform to highlight a number of other matters.
Speaking about Hamilton’s influence, Wallace says he sees the Brit – who is aiming to equal Michael Schumacher’s record of 91 F1 victories at this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix – as someone who transcends sport and the racing industry.
“Lewis Hamilton is someone I’ve idolized,” Wallace said. “He’s poised to win his seventh Formula 1 championship this season, tying Michael Schumacher’s record. Seven is a magic number in racing. Dale Earnhardt Sr., Jimmie Johnson and Richard Petty have each won seven NASCAR season titles. Lewis, 35, is young enough to keep winning championships and setting new all-time records.
“I’m the only Black driver in NASCAR’s top level. So Lewis’ example – as the lone Black F1 driver – is particularly meaningful for me. He shows we’re out there doing it. To see him conquering the track damn near every weekend, it motivates me to try to do the same.
“His activism has also moved the world. Lewis has brought international attention to the Black Lives Matter movement, through his advocacy on social media and at F1 events. Lewis’ mental preparation, his aura, his ability to capitalize on every opportunity to use his platform to drive out racism are more than just a model for race-car drivers and other athletes. He’s an inspiration for everyone.”
See the entire TIME100 list here: www.time.com/100