Naomi Schiff has reflected on her friendship with Lewis Hamilton, lauding his position as an ally for women in sports.
The Formula 1 presenter sat down with GIVEMESPORT to discuss how the racing legend supported her during a difficult period in her career, and how he is helping her on her journey.
Schiff is one of many trailblazing figures changing the game for women in motorsport, but it hasn’t come without its obstacles.
Unfortunately, as is the case for many others in similar roles to Schiff, hateful comments are often to be expected.
The Sky Sports presenter received vile online abuse last year and certain comments suggested she is only successful in her line of work because of her race or gender.
Hamilton spoke out against the abuse, as he too has also been the target of disgraceful racist comments.
The seven-time world champion also issued a statement on social media to show his support for Schiff and encourage others to be more open-minded.
“Naomi is an ex-professional racing driver and totally qualified to give her opinion as part of the Sky team,” Hamilton wrote back in June 2022.
“She’s been a great asset since joining, and we should welcome more representative broadcasting with open arms.”
The Mercedes star also suggested the sport has “a long way to go” before certain attitudes are altered.
Schiff said she felt “super supported by my environment and respected by the people that mattered” which gave her a huge boost of confidence moving forwards, knowing she was valued.
Lewis Hamilton — an important ally
Schiff is a strong role model for other women and girls looking to make waves in the world of motorsport, particularly Formula 1.
But it’s also very important that the men in the industry are also doing what they can to promote their female counterparts.
Every platform should be used to spread positivity and tackle hate, those with a status as large as Hamilton’s tend to have more influence.
Hamilton regularly promoted the W Series when it raced on the undercard of some F1 weekends last year. He also said he wants to see more women involved in the sport, both as drivers and as engineers.
“It’s super important for all of us to have male allies at the top of the sport,” Schiff said. “I feel very, very lucky to have Lewis as an ally while going through my journey in this industry.
“It’s incredibly valuable. I obviously really look up to him and I think he’s not just an incredible athlete but an incredible human and I think he has a lot to offer in terms of advice and support. He’s amazing.”