Lewis Hamilton Is No Hypocrite on Climate Issues: Private Jet, Supercars No More

Lewis Hamilton no longer drives his supercars or fly private jets, is serious about climate issues 3 photos
Photo: Instagram / Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton calls the Mercedes EQS his dream car, his chance to reduce his carbon footprintLewis Hamilton calls the Mercedes EQS his dream car, his chance to reduce his carbon footprint
One week ago, Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton took to his Instagram to show off an electric Mercedes EQS and, in the process, urge his fans and followers to be a little more aware of their carbon footprint, in view of minimizing it.
The post didn’t go as well as he had probably hoped. Even though he explained he’d personally gone to great lengths to ensure his carbon footprint had been minimized, including with his F1 work and his choice for a personal vehicle, criticism still came his way. Big time.

Even his own fans pointed out the apparent hypocrisy of having a known car collector, race car driver, and frequent private jet flier encouraging others to take it easy in terms of emissions. Not to mention the fact that he’s racing for Formula One, while backed by a major gas company.

To say that criticism was harsh is an understatement.

Blame it on a lack of education on the topic, Hamilton says in a following interview, as cited by The Drive. He called his mission a “difficult” one because “not everyone knows the footprint that our sport current has and what we’re doing in terms of trying to improve that” and because he’s been making several significant changes in his life as well.

For starters, he’s sold off his private jet and he’s no longer driving any of the supercars in his collection. These include a Pagani Zonda 760, a McLaren P1, a 1966 Shelby Cobra 427, a Ford Shelby Mustang GT500, a Ferrari LaFerrari and a 599 Aperta, with Hamilton saying that, these days, he only drives the electric SUV EQC. And the EQS, of course.

Other changes included switching to a vegan diet and making sure he’s picked up at the airport in electric cars, whenever possible. He made sure to carbon-offset his F1 work all the way to 2007, whereas Formula One is working towards holding only fully-sustainable events by 2025.

Celebrities are often criticized for not doing what they’re preaching, but Hamilton wants you to know that he’s not one of them.

View this post on Instagram

Recently I’ve been making many changes in my life to reduce my impact on the environment. The first step in this journey was to understand my personal impact on the planet so I could make changes to improve it. Since then, I have offset my carbon footprint from my Formula 1 career dating back to 2007, I have reduced travel where possible, I have gone plant-based and outside of the track, I try to use electric cars wherever possible. I also want to use my position as a racing driver to enforce positive and permanent change, which is why I’m working closely with Mercedes to slowly move their fleet of cars towards electric. This is my new dream car, the new EQS fully electric Mercedes. I can’t wait until it’s released! It’s difficult to always be perfect when we go about our daily lives, but I’m continuing to learn how to be better and I’m committed to staying educated and informed so I can play my part. Small steps lead to big change, so it’s important we all take a moment to understand our footprint and the small changes we can make in our everyday lives to put our planet first. The last step for me will be when I step away from this sport and can focus fully on helping heal the world to provide a better future for our kids and our kids, kids. #VisionEQS @mercedesbenz

A post shared by Lewis Hamilton (@lewishamilton) on Sep 3, 2020 at 7:14am PDT

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About the author: Elena Gorgan
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Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends.
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