Lewis Hamilton’s Met Gala Fashion Statement Was a Huge Departure From Formula 1 Race Suits

Formula 1 star Lewis Hamilton is complaining about his neck feeling tight, which is perfectly understandable following Sunday’s drama. After all, the four-time defending series champion and winner of seven season titles overall experienced the shock of a car landing on top of him midway through the Italian Grand Prix.

Hamilton, second in points this season, and series leader Max Verstappen tangled on turn 1 moments after Hamilton exited the pits. Verstappen’s F1 car rolled up onto the Englishman’s car. If not for the Halo, a relatively new safety innovation, the incident would have seriously injured or even killed Hamilton.

Hamilton walked away from the carnage, but he realized the following day that all was not well.

“His rear wheel landed on my head,” he said, according to Racing News 365. “I think the rear wheel landed on it, the Halo, and I think the most cambered part of the inside of the tire landed on my head. I think I’m just going to be traveling these next days, but I probably will need to get to see a specialist just to make sure I’m good for the next race because it’s getting tighter and tighter.

“But I’ll live.”

Hamilton left Italy for New York City, where he had bought a table for Met Gala 2021 and hobnobbed with A-list celebrities including Jennifer Lopez, Lil Nas X, Billie Eilish, Jennifer Hudson, and Serena Williams. The dress code for the soiree is traditionally pegged to the year’s exhibits. This year’s theme was American fashion and design, with proceeds earmarked for the Costume Institute.

Formula 1 racing star Lewis Hamilton attends The 2021 Met Gala on Sept. 13, 2021, in New York City. | John Shearer/WireImage via Getty Images.
Formula 1 racing star Lewis Hamilton attends The 2021 Met Gala on Sept. 13, 2021, in New York City. | John Shearer/WireImage via Getty Images.

The guests did not disappoint, and Hamilton eschewed his Mercedes team race suit for some sartorial splendor, designed by Kenneth Nicholson, that fit right in with his peers.

From the Daily Mail’s account of the evening:

“Lewis Hamilton sported a lace net skirt over his suit on Monday as he joined the biggest stars in showbusiness at the Met Gala in New York.

“The Formula 1 driver, 36, looked suave in a slick black suit with shiny black loafers.

“And putting a very modern twist on the classic look he paired black blazer and trousers with a see-through mesh shirt and netted veil skirt.

“The sportsman looked at ease on the red carpet as he tied his braided hair back into a bun for the night out.”

Needless to say, that constituted a considerably different look than what race fans are used to seeing at Formula 1 races. As noted by Motorsport Technology, Formula 1 race suits are one-piece uniforms. Because spilled fuel is the primary worry associated with accidents, aside from the impact itself, those suits are made from Nomex fiber. Dupont developed the fireproof material developed decades ago, and it holds up against intense flames for a minimum of 12 seconds.

Naturally, none of that comes in handy at black-tie-or-better functions like the Met Gala. And Hamilton certainly did not need to wear his Mercedes gear to be recognizable. He has long owned luxury apartments in New York City, even if he keeps a fairly low profile there.

However, Hamilton did make a point of buying a table at the Met Gala event, at an estimated cost of $300,000. But he did it for a cause beyond supporting the Metropolitan Museum of Art. According to The Sun, Hamilton said he wanted to host emerging Black designers to draw attention to their work. He scored points in that respect by recruiting Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour to host his table.

“We’ve got a great host of people tonight and it’s about just highlighting beauty and excellence and talent,” Hamilton said.

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