Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has achieved plenty of success during his time at the Silver Arrows, but he believes last year was the most important one.
The British driver believes that his push for greater equality across the sport is the leading factor behind this feeling.
Hamilton is of course the only driver of colour on the grid. It has been this way for major periods of time in this sport.
Last year, Hamilton played a leading role in his fight against racism. He regularly took a knee before races and wore t-shirts that spoke out against the harsh realities of being part of a minority.
“I would argue that last year was the bravest [season yet],” Hamilton said in an interview with Rachel Brookes.
“For one of the very few people of colour within our sport, to be able to voice out your feelings and be open about experiences you’ve had, not be sure of the criticism or the backlash that might come from that if it’s interpreted the wrong way.
“I’m sure you can empathise as a woman in a male dominated sport.
“I can only imagine the challenges you have faced and you for sure, will have had to have been quiet when you’ve taken certain flack or whatever it might have been.
“And now we live in a space where we can be a lot more open about, and no one has the right to tell us to shut up anymore. I think that’s super empowering.”
Hamilton claimed that it is imperative that everyone focuses on educating themselves and thereby burying these apprehensions. He argued that it will help bringing people together.
“I don’t think that we’re born without empathy and compassion, it’s something that’s taught through the whole weird society that we live in today,” Hamilton said.
“I think it’s down to education really. That’s where it all needs to change.
“It’s harder than ever for kids to grow up, harder than when we were young.
“However, I think they’re more conscious of that impact we’re having in the world. Hopefully they’re more outspoken, but we’ve left them a mess.”