Lewis Hamilton calls for greater diversity in Formula One, says 'nothing has changed'

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Lewis Hamilton has again accused Formula One of lacking diversity ahead of the opening race of the new season.

The British driver, 33, had appeared alongside his rival Sebastian Vettel at the sport's official press conference to answer questions on his championship defence.

But moments after he left the press conference room at Albert Park in Melbourne, Hamilton posted a video to his Instagram story in which he suggested F1 should do more to encourage participation from a wider range of ethnic backgrounds.

Four-time champion Hamilton is the sport's first and only black driver and has six million followers on the social media platform.

Hamilton recorded the 15-second video from his Mercedes team's hospitality suite of a number of people in the paddock, and accompanied the clip with the words: "There's barely any diversity in F1.

"Still nothing's changed in 11 years I've been here.

"Kids, people, there's so many jobs in this sport of which anybody, no matter your ethnicity or background, can make it and fit in."

He ended the post with two hashtags, 'diversity', and 'you can do it'.

Formula One elected not to comment on Hamilton's remarks when contacted by Press Association Sport.

It is not Hamilton's first run-in with the sport over race issues. Back in 2011, Hamilton said: "Maybe it's because I'm black. That's what Ali G says", after he was penalised by stewards at the Monaco Grand Prix.

Hamilton is this year bidding to become only the third driver in F1 history to win the championship more than four times.

The Stevenage-born racer delivered some of the best displays of his career last term after beating Vettel to the championship with two rounds to spare.