You can see Hamilton’s message in the Instagram below: it’s basically him saying we should all give our lifestyle a good hard look and think of ways we can reduce our carbon footprint. For him, it’s by using an EV whenever he’s not on track, sticking to a plant-based diet and carbon offsetting. Every little change can make a difference, he says. He’s also heaping on the praise for the EQS, which he calls his “dream car” and says he can’t wait for it to be released.
The hypocrisy runs deep in this post and, implicitly, Hamilton’s stance, his own fans are telling him. “Says the race car driver,” “You own a private jet, bro” and “Are you a clown?” are among the most polite reactions, all of them pointing to Hamilton’s huge carbon footprint. The fact that Hamilton owns a private jet that he often flies – even to ferry his dogs across the world when they start missing each other, which is an endearing story but with terrible consequences for the environment – is not helping.
Neither is the fact that his garage is packed with gas-guzzlers. Hamilton owns a McLaren P1, a 1966 Shelby Cobra 427, a Ford Shelby Mustang GT500, a Ferrari LaFerrari and a 599 Aperta, the Pagani Zonda 760, and several other Mercedeses. And another EV, the Vision Mercedes Maybach 6.
In short, his fans feel like he’s talkin’ the talk but not really walkin’ the walk, so they’re calling him out.
That said, the controversy most likely stems from regular people’s understanding of what a celebrity role model is, which is often different from how the celebrities themselves see it. Even the greenest celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio, who’s always driving electric or riding bikes when he’s out and about, won’t give up their A-list lifestyle for the sake of the planet. DiCaprio, for one, usually takes an extended private superyacht cruise around the world every year with his wolf pack, and he always flies private.
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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