Hamilton “completely transformed” by Africa trip

LONDON: Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton says he feels “transformed” after traveling in Africa during Formula 1’s August break.

The Briton, the only black Formula One driver whose paternal grandparents emigrated to Britain from the Caribbean, has documented his trip to Namibia, Rwanda, Kenya and Tanzania on social media.

“The last two weeks have been some of the best days of my entire life,” the 37-year-old said in an Instagram post.

“I’m not the same man I was before this trip. All the beauty, love and peacefulness I experienced made me feel completely transformed.”

Hamilton, who drives for Mercedes and has won a record 103 grands prix, said he has connected to his roots and feels his ancestors are stronger with him than ever.

“No amount of photos could capture how I feel right now and what I’m trying to say,” he told his 29.5 million followers. “Just know where words fall short, emotions run deep.”

Hamilton has long called for Formula One racing on the continent, with the sport in talks with organizers in South Africa about a return to Kyalami for the first time since 1993.

“The place that’s really close to my heart and most important to me is getting a race back in South Africa,” said Hamilton, an outspoken campaigner for racial equality and diversity, last year.

“I think there’s a huge following out there and it would be great to be able to highlight how beautiful the Motherland is.”