Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff has suggested that Lewis Hamilton should rethink the way he expresses his political views. The three-time world champion has strongly voiced his opinion over the recent happenings in the United States regarding the NFL and US President Donald Trump.
Earlier this week, Hamilton posted a video on Instagram of a dog 'humping' a Trump doll. The video caused a stir and was quickly deleted, but Hamilton denies he took it down, stating that he never would. It is believed that Mercedes ordered Hamilton's social media manager to remove the video from his account.
"This is a very controversial and polarising story," Wolff admitted. "I wouldn't want to get involved in politics. Lewis' feelings about human rights are very strong and I think he wanted to show that and probably Instagram as the communication channel is something that he needs to rethink. But I can relate to his feelings," Wolff said.
"I think one of the most important things in the US is that you have the right to express your opinion and I would want to leave it there. I think we are here as sport teams and sports should unite and I'm not sure that is happening everywhere in the world. So I would rather lead by example and not comment on politics," he added
Ahead of the US Grand Prix later this month, Hamilton has not ruled out 'taking the knee' during the national anthem - a trend that has caused controversy across the United States during the pre-match national anthem.
"I have not thought about it," he told the Times. "I've not even thought about that race but I will have to start to think about it - what would be right for me to do, or do I even need to get involved? I think we all do need to stand together."
The temptation for Mercedes might be to tell Hamilton to stay out of politics, but Wolff said that approach will not work with the 32-year-old driver: "The more you try to limit him - put him in a box - the more detrimental it will be for his performance. The old mentality of 'a racing driver has to be like this or like that' is invalid for Lewis."
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing
Would you like to stay up to date with the latest Lewis Hamilton and Formula 1 news from GPtoday? Activate free push notifications and be the first to know!