Lewis Hamilton has spoken out in support of Naomi Osaka after she withdrew from the French Open due to not attending a press conference to take care of her mental health.
Osaka was initially given a fine and threatened with suspension before she withdrew, with the handling of the situation being widely criticized by news outlets and the public alike. Hamilton said ahead of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix this weekend that he fully supports Osaka’s withdrawal, saying he was “thrown in the pit” too.
“I think she’s an incredible athlete and human being,” Hamilton said. “Her activism has been just so impactful and at such a young age there’s so much weight on her shoulders.”
“I think she’s an incredible athlete and human being,” he said. “Her activism has been just so impactful and at such a young age there’s so much weight on her shoulders. I remember when I got into F1 the team had PR, I was never prepared for being in front of a camera, I was never guided as to what to look out for and helped to navigate through that.”
“You just learn through the mistakes and it’s incredibly nerve-wracking especially when you have all good intentions but people take advantage of it.”
Hamilton comes into Baku four points behind Max Verstappen, the title leader.