“Inappropriate” to force drivers into activism

F1 staged an organised pre-race kneel ahead of the opening race of the 2020 season in Austria last month in a strong anti-racism message.

The drivers organised the gesture themselves ahead of the next two races and had less time to make arrangements, leading to a fractured and messy display that drew criticism from many members of the grid.

Six-time world champion Lewis Hamilton said it felt like the anti-racism messaging had “gone off the agenda” and was “lacking leadership” from F1’s senior management.

“There needs to be leadership from the top,” Hamilton said. “You need to come out with ‘OK hey, this is what we want to do guys, and we want you all to be a part of it’.

“That should be announced or discussed from the top down. That should be coming from the higher powers that control and pull all the strings.”

Hamilton said he would speak to FIA president Jean Todt and F1 CEO Chase Carey ahead of the British Grand Prix about the matter.

The FIA has now given drivers an additional 10 minutes in the pre-race schedule to ease some of the time constraints, and issued guidelines to drivers on what gestures they may want to consider ahead of the race.

Fourteen drivers have regularly knelt before the national anthem, with six opting to stand instead.

Speaking to select media including Motorsport.com ahead…

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