Hamilton realised 'embarrassing' people not the answer in equality push

Marty & McGee take on Hollywood in a sweet ride (1:21)

Marty Smith and Ryan McGee drive around Los Angeles in an Aston Martin before taking in a Formula 1 race from their car. (1:21)

Lewis Hamilton said he realised last year the value of pushing for equality by diplomatic means rather than by embarrassing people.

Seven-time world champion Hamilton has become outspoken on the issue of equality and knelt ahead of every Formula One race last season.

Ahead of the season, Hamilton had called out F1 as "white dominated" and criticised the championship for its silence around the death of George Floyd. He soon started working with F1 to fix the issue of equality in the championship and has also launched and funded the Hamilton Commission to help motorsport engage more young people from black backgrounds and drive diversity.

At the 2021 season opener, the Bahrain Grand Prix, Hamilton wore a shirt saying "actions speak louder than words".

"At the beginning of the year, I was very outspoken and calling out the sport," Hamilton said in an interview with Wired UK. "At the time that was the right thing for me, but I discovered that there's times where you have to be very diplomatic, where there's more you can do by discussions in the background, rather than embarrassing people."

He added: "I'm having conversations, trying to hold people in the sport more accountable.

"I'm constantly sending emails, I'm constantly on Zoom calls with Formula One and challenging them like they wouldn't want to be challenged."

Hamilton is looking for a record eighth Formula One title this season but has said a bigger motivation to stay in the championship is the platform it gives him to continue the push for equality.

"I think I want to be one of those change-makers. A catalyst for change.

"I really hope that ten years from now I can look back and say that I maximised my time and I made the right choices and I really had a positive impact."