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Hamilton calls for driver unity over 'taking a knee' after splintered Styria reaction

Hamilton calls for driver unity over 'taking a knee' after splintered Styria reaction

F1 News


Hamilton calls for driver unity over 'taking a knee' after splintered Styria reaction

Hamilton calls for driver unity over 'taking a knee' after splintered Styria reaction

Lewis Hamilton has called on his fellow drivers to stay focused on the fight against racism following a more fractured response to the cause ahead of the Styrian Grand Prix.

A week ago, just before the start of the Austrian Grand Prix, all 20 drivers stood at the front of the grid, with 14 taking a knee and six opting against for a variety of reasons, but still wearing 'End Racism' t-shirts.

Seven days later, and while Hamilton and a number of drivers - along with the Mercedes team in the pitlane - again took a knee at the front of the grid, there were many who were absent on this occasion.

As Hamilton pointed out, there appears to be a misconception as to the meaning of 'Black Lives Matter', with the human rights cause supported by Hamilton, not the political movement.

"This weekend the drivers spoke after the drivers’ briefing about what we intended to do," revealed Hamilton, who twice gave a 'black power' salute following his victory at the Red Bull Ring.

"Some people were asking ''Why do we have to continue to do this?' Some felt like once was enough last week.

"I just had to encourage them that racism is here, going to be here for probably longer than our time here and people of colour, who are subject to racism, don’t have time to take a moment to protest and that be it.

"We’ve got to continue to push for equality, to raise awareness of it. To have Valtteri [Bottas] and my team kneeling before the start of the race I think was really huge, and I’m incredibly grateful for their understanding and this contribution to it.

"We’ve really got to think, as a sport, what we can do because those are nice signs, but passion is needed.

"It’s great to see Chase [Carey] being so kind as to donate $1million, and it’s great to see the FIA step up and also give me a $1m, but if you don’t know the problem then you can’t fix it, and you know $1m doesn’t really go that far.

"So a lot of work needs to go on. Formula 1, the FIA do really need to be a part of it, and I think the drivers need to be a part of it as we have great voices and platforms."

Hamilton has revealed to undertaking what he has described as "one-on-one time" with some of the other drivers, via conference calls, to further explain his mission.

"I've made it clear I'm not supporting the political side, I'm supporting the human rights side," added Hamilton.

"I said, 'Guys, I'm going to continue to do it [take a knee]'. There were some that said 'Well, I already did it last week, I'm not going to do it again'.

"There were some that continued to have the same approach they had to the first week, and that's why I tried to spend a bit more one-on-one time with a few of those that had chosen to stand, just to have a chat.

"From the drivers' point of view, we are going to come closer during this period of time. I'm not saying that everyone is going to be taking a knee, but over time, as we begin to talk about this more often, I'd like to think that at some stage we will all be together, understanding taking a knee.

"Moving forward, next week [at the Hungarian Grand Prix], we will try and do a better job, if we are to do the same thing, but that's not my choice."

Before you go...

Renault protest of Racing Point "admissible"; Mercedes now involved

Ricciardo: I would never have 'dive-bombed' Ocon

What do you think?

Why don't they all just walk on their knees from now on?

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