First and foremost, I write to you because I regard you as a nice bloke as far as I am concerned. Unlike the case with many of your colleagues, we have not exchanged a single word, but I only hear good things about you as a human being – although I would have to put apart the complaints of Adrian Sutil after his row with alcohol and F1 fat cats; you know, he felt kind of left out by you at his hardest time. One other contributor for our website still remembers how you went down to see the low-key member of another team as soon as you were told that he had been diagnosed with a serious illness.
I start by stating this impression to stress that I would not be writing these lines if I did not think that you honestly care about the world that surrounds you. On the contrary, I take this action because I had a dream: that you became a star of the sport that put all his appeal and global fanbase to the best use, by pointing at injustice and their perpetrators.
“Wait a minute, what on Earth do you think that I am doing now?” you might get back to me. Well, Lewis, of course that your public denunciation of racism or animal cruelty show once again that you have the sensibility to lead fair causes. I just encourage you to go one step further. To put it mildly, the anti-racist ceremony before the races is the greatest piece of greenwashing that I have ever witnessed. It is so easy to realize when a PR campaign is clearly out of sync with a coherent strategy: which are the objectives of Liberty Media with regards to the fight against racism and how are they going to be measured? In my view, you should be way above any attempt at greenwashing: your heart and your mind can do better, no doubt about it. Leading figures are out there to lead, don’t you think so?
Could I be more specific? Let’s work through examples. In Formula 1, you have lots of big corporations around you. Most of them know where their bodies are buried. What would happen if you also got to know it? Would you dare to shout at any of them? Bear in mind that probably you are the only driver on the grid with the charisma and commercial value for the business to call a spade a spade, in the same style that would do the top executive of the greatest sponsor. How are they dealing with your bros from African countries? Maybe at some point the rush to get a precious commodity got priority over Human Rights? Don’t forget that you are urging to stand against racism among billboards from the oil company of Saudi Arabia’s Royal Family… Not much more to say!
At the moment, you are focused on black lives. Bravo! Next time that you are in Austin, would you have a look at the cases locked in death row? Is there something more racially biased than many of the juries which returned a death sentence? I encourage you to take notice of the upcoming executions after the Grand Prix and use your privileged position to plead clemency to the Governor, both in public and privately. Particularly if there are really serious doubts around a case. My God, can you imagine the wave the next day if you decline to jump atop the podium until a certain questionable authority gets off it? Worth a thousand knee-takings. We know that you spend your scarce free time on Saturdays playing music. Maybe it is time to spend it visiting powerful people and getting vocal about your views; not only through Instagram, which is no less important, but to those who, in the end, make things happen.
My final advice would be that you delve into the topics that worry you the most and learn as much as you can… because things are black or White (no pun intended) very rarely, and the topics that open the TV news tend to be smokescreens dressed up as urgent social issues.
You are a sensible guy. You have proved your braveness on track. Would you dare to prove your courage off it? Do you accept my challenge? Come on, Lewis, I had a dream… – wink wink nudge nudge. From a humble neighbourhood at Stevenage, let’s come to change the world.