Hamilton—the first Black driver to win a Formula 1 race, in 2008, and still the only Black driver competing at the sport’s highest level—has been, and continues to be, a force for change in both the sport and the world, most recently talking to his 28 million Instagram followers about the leak of the Supreme Court decision on abortion rights.
“I love being in the States,” he posted, “but I can’t ignore what’s going on right now and what some in the government are trying to do to the women who live here. Everyone should have the right to choose what they do with their bodies. We can’t let that choice be taken away.”
When the governing body overseeing Formula 1 suddenly and recently decreed that drivers would no longer be allowed to wear jewelry when competing, Hamilton showed up to Miami adorned in what looked like his entire jewelry collection. In the Ritz-Carlton Silver Arrows Lounge, he stressed the need for the sport—and the vast array of sponsors supporting both his team and Formula 1 in general—to continue to push for greater diversity, more inclusion. (On a lighter note, he also made his love for Miami clear and shocked more than a few people by declaring that he might be buying property in the city: “I was out on the water on Wednesday,” he said, “and looked out at the city and just thought, I need to live here.”)
The city seems ready for him—and for Formula 1. More than 300,000 fans and sponsors showed up in Miami, and early estimates suggested that they spent as much or more as the crowd in the city for the 2020 Super Bowl.
Oh—as for the action on the track: Max Verstappen from team Red Bull won—ahead of a pair of Ferraris, with Russell coming in fifth and Hamilton sixth—bringing Verstappen within 19 points of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, currently atop the leaderboard for this year’s driver championship. And speaking of points: Befriending the Mercedes team or one of its sponsors is likely the only way you’ll find your way into the Ritz-Carlton Silver Arrows Lounge for the next big race. The experience is literally one that money cannot buy, but you can bid on it with Bonvoy loyalty points—think frequent-flier programs but for stays within the Marriott hotel group. (One Bonvoy superfan recently set a record for bidding, putting up 3.8 million points to secure a few nights aboard the Mercedes-Petronas F1 team yacht during this year’s Monaco race.)