Lewis Hamilton says he was proud of Sebastian Vettel for standing in favour of LGBTQ+ rights in Hungary last weekend, despite the German receiving a reprimand from the FIA for breaching pre-race protocol.
Ahead of the 11th round of the 2021 F1 world championship in Budapest, both Hamilton and Vettel voiced their concerns over a piece of legislation recently passed by the Hungarian government that aims to ban the representation of homosexuals and transgender individuals in schools or entertainment programs destined to under 18-year-olds.
Hamilton called the anti-LGBTQ+ law "unacceptable and cowerdly", while Vettel promoted the LGBTQ+ community's rights on his helmet and trainers all weekend.
But the four-time world champion also wore a rainbow-coloured "Same Love" t-shirt during the pre-race ceremonial.
However, Vettel also wore the shirt during the event's national anthem, which earned the German a formal reprimand, along with Valtteri Bottas, Carlos Sainz and Lance Stroll who all wore their 'WeRaceAsOne' t-shirts during the anthem.
While drivers are allowed to display a message during the pre-race ceremonies, they must revert to their standard overalls for the anthem formality.
Speaking after the race, Vettel was unapologetic for the pre-race breach.
"They can do whatever they want to me, I don’t care. I would do it again," he said.
And Hamilton praised his friend and former arch-rival for taking a stand against an important diversity and discriminatory issue in Hungary that has sparked widespread criticism from the international community.
"I think it’s wonderful that Seb has taken a stance this weekend, really to speak out for those in the LGBTQ+ community here," Hamilton said.
"I spoke about it the beginning of the weekend. I think it was important for him to do so. He probably won’t be in too much trouble.
"But we have to make a stand. We’re pushing for diversity and inclusivity, and that community, 100%, is included in that. I’m proud of him for it."