Mercedes has responded to Lewis Hamilton’s social media posts that included him talking about “shutting down” and “giving up on everything”.
A spokesperson for the driver’s team said to Germany's SID news agency: "I think he was referring to environmental issues and not anything related to racing. However, I’m not sure.”
The Formula 1 world champion had shared a post to his Instagram stories that caused concern. He said: "Honestly, I feel like giving up on everything.
"Shut down completely. Why bother when the world is such a mess and people don't seem to care.
"I'm going to take a moment away to gather my thoughts.
"Thank you to those of you who do give a damn about the world."
It caused race fans to react and worry about what the five-time world champion meant, possibly questioning whether he was set to retire at the end of the season.
According to the BBC, however, the post was accompanied by two other posts in the same story that were quickly deleted. They seemed to somewhat clarify Hamilton’s sentiment and mentioned veganism, agricultural farming, animal cruelty and deforestation.
Reading all three together, it appeared that the racing driver was making a wider plea to all of his followers regarding environmental issues – something that wasn’t clear from reading just the one post that he didn’t delete. Hamilton has been a vegan for couple of years and has recently launched a chain of vegan restaurants, called ‘Neat Burger’, with the first opening in central London last September.
READ MORE: Lewis Hamilton launches vegan burger chain
In the deleted posts he said: “I’m sad to see so many people, even close friends ignore what is happening daily. Education is key and we’re taught that eating animal products was good for us but we’ve been lied to for 100s of years.
“I urge you, to do some research, find the compassion I know you have within you to recognise what you are contributing to in terms of what you eat which keeps the meat and dairy industry flourishing and therefore deforestation, animal cruelty, our seas and climate decaying on a daily basis.
“Go Vegan, it is the only way to truly save our planet today. It can be done so quickly, all you have to do is put your mind to it.”
The posts came just days after his Mercedes team confirmed the constructors’ championship for the sixth time. A huge part of that success has been a result of how dominant Hamilton has been this season. On course for a third consecutive drivers’ championship, the 34-year-old has won nine races so far in 2019. Bottas, his closest competitor has three, with Charles Leclerc, Max Verstappen (two each) and Sebastian Vettel (one) just behind.
Hamilton will win his sixth championship if he wins the next race in Mexico City, assuming Bottas finishes fifth or lower. Another world title would move him to within one of Michael Schumacher’s record of seven.
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