Six-time Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton has been included in TIME’s list of the 100 most influential people following his drive for equality.
The Mercedes racer is the only Black driver in F1 and has used his platform and audience to fight for equality, encouraging his fellow drivers to take a knee before each race this season.
His team has even dropped its traditional silver livery in favour of a black livery and overalls in support of Hamilton’s message, whilst the sport itself now shows a pre-race ‘End Racism’ video as part of its #WeRaceAsOne initiative.
Hamilton is also a keen environmentalist and is a vegan, supporting several wildlife charities, as well as holding an ambassador role with the United Nations.
Hamilton is listed under the ‘Titans’ category accompanied by a tribute from NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace.
“Lewis Hamilton is someone I’ve idolised,” said Wallace. “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 capitalise 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.”
This is Hamilton’s second appearance in the TIME 100 list.