Great Britain

Lewis Hamilton demands F1 do more to promote diversity and BLM message after drivers refuse to take knee again

The sport scored an own goal before last Sunday's race in Austria where, unlike in football and cricket, some drivers did, and some didn't, take a knee.

Some stars were not even present for the moment at the start, showing a complete lack of unity behind their message.

F1's only black driver, Hamilton, has now called on the other nine teams to copy his Mercedes' team's stance after they painted their car black in support.

While Hamilton singled out Ferrari, saying he had not heard a single message of support from the Italian team.

He said: "Formula One, yes they have taken a step forward but ultimately there is more they can do. And the governing body, who dictate what these teams do.

"I asked on a Zoom video call, 'look, F1 has come forward in supporting end racism and it is amazing to see Mercedes doing the same thing.

"But no other team has said a single thing. Whilst we have seen the Red Bull mechanics take a knee, which I think is great, but publicly, as businesses and teams…

"If you look at Ferrari, who have thousands of people working with them, I have heard no word from Ferrari saying they hold themselves accountable and this is what they are going to do for their future.

"We need the teams to do that. And F1 and the FIA to be the leaders in those scenarios and say 'hey guys, everyone needs to pull together and fight for this so we can improve'.

"A lot of people don't know what the problem is. Some people deny there is a problem and that's why I put this commission together.

"Everyone has their opinion but I want to get to the bottom of it and so when we are putting money in to it, we know the cause and that is the root goal."

Hamilton admitted it was the DRIVERS who decided to take a knee before the Styrian GP, rather than the sport's bosses.

And said the chaotic scenes should not be repeated at this weekend's Hungarian GP.

However, he also revealed that not every one of the 20 drivers on the grid is willing to fully-back the message.

He added: "Before the first race, I had been on several Zoom calls with the heads of Formula One and together we had come up with a plan that this is what we were going to do at the start of the first race.

"There wasn't a follow up and none of us were contacted, so there wasn't a plan to do it again, for whatever reason.

"So when the drivers did the briefing on a Zoom chat, we had this debate on whether we were going to do this again.

"I said, 'well guys I am going to continue to do it'. There were some who were like 'well I already did it last week, I am not doing it again'.

"There are some who continued to have the same approach as they had the first week and that's why I tried to spend a bit of time with those who had chosen to stand, just to have a chat.

"From a drivers' point of view we are going to come closer during this period time, but I am not saying everyone will take a knee.

"I would like to think that at some stage we will all be together understanding taking the knee.

"Moving forward, we would try to do a better job if we are to do the same thing, but it is not my choice."

Lewis Hamilton and other F1 drivers 'take a knee' in support of BLM at Austrian opener

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