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.
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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