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Why some drivers chose not to take the knee at the F1 opener

Why some drivers chose not to take the knee at the F1 opener

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Why some drivers chose not to take the knee at the F1 opener

Why some drivers chose not to take the knee at the F1 opener

Taking the knee was not mandatory ahead of the Formula 1 Austrian Grand Prix, with a number of drivers explaining why they elected against what has become regarded as a symbolic anti-racism gesture.

On Saturday, the Grand Prix Drivers' Association released a statement which outlined that drivers would be permitted to express their anti-racism views in whichever way they saw fit.

Nineteen drivers wore 'End Racism' t-shirts on the grid - only Lewis Hamilton was different as his sported the words 'Black Lives Matter'. But as 14 drivers took the knee, six remained standing.

AlphaTauri driver Daniil Kvyat was one of those. Explaining his decision, the Russian said: "Some people chose to do it, some people chose not to do it.

"For me, I would say my mentality, and in my country, doesn't allow me to go on my knee. It's only for very particular reasons [that I can take the knee].

"I'm ready to show in any way that I am against racism, but the knee is something that I opted not to do on Sunday."

Kneeling has, in some countries, taken on a more political meaning and no longer solely represents the campaign for equality.

McLaren driver Carlos Sainz added: "I think we showed on Sunday how strong we all feel, how a united group of drivers are standing in front of everyone, declaring themselves totally against this matter [racism], and that we are going to take action together with Formula 1.

"I felt like that was enough, and everyone has their own right to explain themselves or to show themselves. That is the decision I took."

Charles Leclerc, who also remained standing, said: "I think the explanation of having the choice of showing it the way you want is enough. I wanted to stand against racism, and that is what I did."

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