F1 giants condemn recently approved legislation that makes it an offence to “promote or portray” homosexuality to minors
By Yuri Coghe
Formula 1 giants Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel have stood up against a recently approved Hungarian law widely seen as anti-LGBTQ+ days before the country holds the series’ next race weekend.
The controversial legislation makes it an offence to “promote or portray” homosexuality or gender reassignment to minors. The country’s government, led by prime minister Viktor Orbán, will hold a referendum on the law after receiving backlash from the EU and many other entities and organizations across the globe when it was approved by parliament.
“To all in this beautiful country Hungary. Ahead of the Grand Prix this weekend, I want to share my support for those affected by the government’s anti-LGBTQ+ law,” read a Thursday Instagram stories post by Hamilton. “It is unacceptable, cowardly and misguiding for those in power to suggest such a law.
“Everyone deserves to have the freedom to be themselves, no matter who they love or how they identify.”
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The Mercedes driver, who was recently targeted with racist abuse after an accident with championship rival Max Verstappen in the British Grand Prix, also urged Hungarians to vote against the legislation in the upcoming referendum.
Hamilton can add a historic 100th career victory and an unprecedented ninth win at the same Grand Prix if he claims first place in the Hungarian race on Sunday.
Vettel, one of the five F1 drivers in history to have won four or more drivers’ world championships and third for most wins with 53, wore rainbow-coloured shoes when speaking about the controversial law on Thursday.
“Everybody’s free to do what they want and exactly that I guess is the point,” he said. “I find it embarrassing for a country that is in the European Union having to vote or having some laws like this.”
“I just think we’ve had so many opportunities to learn in the past and I can’t understand why you’re struggling to see everybody should be free to do what they like, love who they like and it’s along the lines of ‘live and let live,” added Vettel.
“So it’s obviously not for us to make the law, that’s not our role, but I think just to express the support for obviously those that are affected by it.”
Vettel collected Canadian-owned Aston Martin’s first podium in Formula 1 at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix this year while using a rainbow stripe in his helmet.
The Briton and German drivers have collected a total of eleven world championships between the two – all but one since the 2010 season.