Hamilton foresees 2020 as 'most important year of our lives'

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Lewis Hamilton is pinning his hopes on 2020 being a year of change for the world in its fight against racism.

The six-time F1 world champion has been vocal on events of late in the United States sparked by the death over a week ago of George Floyd.

Hamilton posted on Instagram several emotional messages in which his expressed his outrage at racial injustice and his support for the Black Lives Matter movement while also taking F1 to task for the community's initial lack of reaction to the incidents in America.

But in his latest post, the 35-year-old harbors the hope that a fundamental change is in the making during this crucial year.

"We must unite!" he wrote. "I have wondered why 2020 seemed so doomed from the start but I'm starting to believe that 2020 may just be the most important year of our lives, where we can finally start to change the systemic and social oppression of minorities.

"We just want to live, have the same chances at education, at life and not have to fear walking down the street, or going to school, or walking into a store whatever it may be.

"We deserve this as much as anyone. Equality is paramount to our future, we cannot stop fighting this fight, I for one, will never give up!"

Hamilton says the racial abuse witnessed by the world recently is unfortunately a reminder of the bullying and racism he endured as a young black racer fighting in the ranks of karting.

"Vivid memories of the challenges I faced when I was a kid, as I'm sure many of you who have experienced racism or some sort of discrimination have faced," he added.

"I have spoken so little about my personal experiences because I was taught to keep it in, don't show weakness, kill them with love and beat them on the track.

"But when it was away from the track, I was bullied, beaten and the only way I could fight this was to learn to defend myself, so I went to karate.

"The negative psychological effects cannot be measured. This is why I drive the way I do, it is far deeper than just doing a sport, I'm still fighting.

"Thank God I had my father, a strong black figure who I could look up to, that I knew understood and would stand by my side no matter what.

"Not all of us have that but we need to stand together with those who may not have that hero to lean on and protect them."

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 with Toto Wolff

Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff supported Hamilton's stance as someone who also encountered a level of discrimination in his childhood.

"I was lucky enough that I was raised in a household with different nationalities, that 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,” said the Austrian.

"I think all of us have the power to make a change, and sometimes it needs events like the ones that happened a few days ago in the US to trigger a massive wave of support for any minority.

"I think it’s 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. We choose our people purely on performance and don’t look on any culture, religion or skin colour.

"I think all of us can make a difference, every single one of us should be part of a movement to stop these kinds of things happening."

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