As the Hungaroring Grand Prix comes to a close, its surrounding debate around Hungary’s “child protection law” remains on the table. After British star driver Lewis Hamilton addressed the bill as “unacceptable,” he received responses from multiple Hungarian officials, among them Justice Minister Judit Varga, Fidesz MEP Tamás Deutsch, and MSZP MEP István Ujhelyi. Later state secretary Zoltán Kovács and MEP Deutsch have issued new statements towards not only Hamilton, but German driver Sebastian Vettel as well, who sported rainbow-colored polo and mask on the track.
This year’s Formula One Hungaroring Grand Prix came to an exciting finish, with Esteban Ocon of Alpine winning first place with an impressive time of 2:04:43.199.
F1 Drivers Face Backlash for pro-LGBTQ Statements
Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel both caught flak from Hungarian officials for their actions, both prior and during the Hungaroring F1 Grand Prix, regarding the new bill, which many consider to be discriminatory towards the LGBTQ community.
Hamilton, one of the most popular F1 drivers in the world at the moment, called on Hungarians to “vote in the upcoming referendum to protect the rights of the LGBTQ+ community,” to which Justice Minister Judit Varga responded that he should stick to racing, and to read the bill if he wants to criticize it.
Tamás Deutsch also responded, saying that Hamilton should avoid the topic since he has no children, to which socialist MEP István Ujhelyi ironically asked whether his opinion matters more since he has six children.
Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel joined in the debate with the argument of “live and let live, saying that he cannot understand why the Hungarian government is struggling “to see that everybody should be free to do what they like, love who they like.”
Fidesz MEP Associates LGBTQ Flag with Nazism
On the day of the race, Vettel entered the track wearing a rainbow striped polo and face mask, to which Tamás Deutsch responded on Facebook by relating the symbolism of his attire to the symbols of Nazi Germany. Deutsch shared a picture of rainbow striped sneakers alongside an image of Germans performing a Nazi salute at the 1936 Summer Olympics.
“The Germans have always known how to use the correct PC symbols of the period in sports,” he said.
Once again Ujhelyi responded to Deutsch, saying that such actions are “so low, so despicable, so shameful,” from an MEP. “Seriously, @dajcstomi, are all of you out of your freakin’ minds???” he asked, “Comparing @f1_vettel to the Nazis just for having an opinion?”
State Sec Says EU Influencing the Masses Against Hungary
Secretary of State for International Communication and Relations, Zoltán Kovács, spoke to state media Kossuth Rádió on Sunday about how he believes this whole issue can be tied back to the “network” of agents from Brussels who wish to “push a worldview upon us.”
The government’s international spokesman believes Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel are examples of how popular individuals can use their platforms to influence the masses into what the mainstream expects.
This is perhaps the lowest point of this campaign, which is being driven against Hungary, since they are winning over people who know nothing. How would a Formula 1 driver know how Hungarians live, how consistent the Hungarian constitution and government are in protecting the rights of families and children?”
This is not the first time there was a back and forth over Hungary’s “child protection bill” in sport. In the most recent UEFA European Football Championship, identity politics was a key issue being brought up, with Football stadiums being illuminated in the colors of the rainbow and Hungarian officials condemning the displays.
In the featured photo: Lewis Hamilton. Photo by Zsolt Szigetváry/MTI