The seven-time world champion previously found himself on the receiving end of abuse after his remarks about his nephew on Christmas Day.
With Lewis Hamilton bringing to an end one of his most disappointing campaigns in Formula 1, it is likely the Stevenage-born driver will enjoy a rest after another long racing season. Unlike in 2021, Hamilton was never in with a chance of claiming the World Championship crown he has collected a record number of times. And, like last year, Dutchman Max Verstappen took the overall crown, and with it his second title to cement his status as currently the best driver on the circuit.
While Hamilton will now kick back with his family and friends over the festive period, the 37-year-old once courted controversy over Christmas when he made a remark about his nephew.
Five years ago, after clawing back the world title he lost out to Nico Rosberg in 2016, Hamilton posted on Instagram about his family’s Christmas meal, recording himself saying: “I’m so sad right now. Look at my nephew.”
He then moved the camera to his young nephew, who was wearing a pink and purple dress while showing off a toy wand. He asked the youngster: “Why are you wearing a princess dress? Is this what you got for Christmas? Why did you ask for a princess dress for Christmas? Boys don’t wear princess dresses!”
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The British star wrote on Twitter: “I hope @LewisHamilton properly thinks and apologises to his nephew for that video. Thinks about why it is so horrible, and considers donating to a charity which supports LGBT youth. That video is a video so many of us have experienced. Gross. It sticks with you.”
Liam Hackett, anti-bullying charity Ditch the Label creator, added: “Disappointing to see somebody with such a huge platform use it to publicly shame and attempt to undermine a small child.”
A day after the video was published, Hamilton himself took to social media to discuss he “inappropriate” remarks, adding: “Yesterday I was playing around with my nephew and realised that my words were inappropriate so I removed the post.
“I meant no harm and did not mean to offend anyone at all. I love that my nephew feels free to express himself as we all should. My deepest apologies for my behaviour as I realise it is really not acceptable in the world today for anyone, no matter where you are from, to marginalise or stereotype anyone.
“I have always been in support of anyone living their life exactly how they wish and I hope I can be forgiven for this lapse of judgement.”
Incredibly, around six months later, after being given the honour of appearing on the cover of GQ magazine, Hamilton was pictured wearing a skirt himself, with the publication’s Instagram post of it adding: “I want to make amends.”
More recently, Hamilton’s teammate George Russell reflected on what has been a difficult campaign for both drivers and their Mercedes team more generally.
While Hamilton’s luck was against him throughout the season, Russell faired slightly better, finishing a respectable fourth behind Verstappen, Charles Leclerc, and Sergio Perez.
Speaking to BBC Radio Norfolk after the season concluded, which saw the 24-year-old claim victory in Sao Paulo in the penultimate race, Russell said Mercedes hadn’t “forgotten how to build a fast car… we just got it wrong this year”.
He added: “We got the philosophy wrong. We went down a route which turned out to be the wrong route.
“Sometimes it takes you a long time to dig yourself out of that hole. Now I feel we’ve dug ourselves out of that hole and we’re building on top of that.
“We are a step behind Red Bull and Ferrari and we’ve got a lot of catching up to do – but we’re definitely going to be in a much stronger position from race one next year than we were this year.”