Lewis Hamilton can spearhead F1’s fight to reduce its environmental impact and become more diverse. That’s the verdict of Liberty Media chief Chase Carey, who has hailed the six-time Word Drivers’ Championship winner as an important voice given his success in the sport.

F1 announced last month that the sport is aiming to become carbon neutral by 2030 – which would represent no mean feat given its annual output of 255,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

The desire to be more green comes with pressure on all industries to do their bit to help combat the climate emergency the planet is in the grip of.

Hamilton, a committed vegan, is passionate about changing the world, even if his status as one of the world’s top racing drivers has led to him being branded a hypocrite.

Carey, who is backing F1’s carbon neutral initiative, has now given his verdict on the role Hamilton can play as Liberty Media seeks to tackle a range of “issues”.

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“I certainly agree,” Carey told CNN, when asked if F1 needs to change. “We want to increase the diversity. We’ve been very public about it. We’ve said it’s one of our core objectives.

“Over the next few years, we’ve identified the environmental issues as one we’re going to tackle and diversity as one we’re going to tackle.

“We’re working hard, particularly the female diversity issue, but really on all levels of diversity. First, how important are the drivers? They’re critical.

“Sports are based on heroes and our biggest heroes are the drivers and Lewis has really been in many case, you know, an incredible leader in those initiatives.

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“Obviously there are many causes [Hamilton] has been public about that he is interested in pursuing. He’s a six-time world champion. So you know, the importance of him speaks for itself. He’s not just one of the great drivers today. He’s one of the great drivers of all time.”

Hamilton’s commitment to veganism has seen the Mercedes driver commit to opening a restaurant which will only serve up plant-based foods.

When the venture was announced, Hamilton said: “As someone who follows a plant-based diet, I believe we need a healthier high street option that tastes amazing but also offers something exciting to those who want to be meat-free every now and again.”

Hamilton will begin the defence of his F1 title next March when the 2020 campaign kicks off with the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.