Lewis Hamilton donates $500k to Australian bushfire charities

Lewis Hamilton has joined fellow Formula 1 driver Daniel Ricciardo in helping with the effort to tackle bushfires in Australia.

The fires are spreading quickly despite the best efforts to contain them, however due to the sheer number and size, it's almost impossible to do so effectively which has led to the deaths of an estimated 1 billion animals and hundreds of billions of insects according to the latest reports.

More than 2,000 homes have been destroyed and 24 deaths reported.

Several celebrities have made large donations to multiple charities, with the Mercedes driver confirming he would donate $500,000 (£384,000) to Wires Wildlife Rescue and the WWF in Australia.

"It saddens me deeply to know that over 1 billion animals in Australia died a painful death, no way out, not their fault. My love of animals is no secret and I can’t help but grieve for the defenceless animals thought to have died so far, pushing certain species closer to extinction," wrote Hamilton.

"I’m lucky enough to visit Australia often and I know first-hand how beautiful the country is. Keep fighting Australia. I’ve spent some time speaking to people in Australia who are working at the heart of this and I’m filled with admiration for everything they are doing.

"I implore you to join me in thinking about the impact we are having on our planet. Let’s work together to make small changes, and encourage our family and friends to do the same, so we can help shift the direction we’re going in.

"I’m donating $500K to support @wireswildliferescue @wwf_australia and the Rural Fire Services. If you are able and haven’t already, you can donate too. Every little helps."

Ricciardo recently announced he would be auctioning off his race suit from March's season opening Australian Grand Prix in aid of the fires.