Lewis Hamilton hits out at F1 as drivers are rushed to take the knee

Lewis Hamilton hits out at F1 as drivers are rushed to take the knee

July 19, 2020

‘They have got to do a BETTER job’: Lewis Hamilton hits out at F1 chiefs as drivers are rushed through taking the knee before Hungarian GP

  • Lewis Hamilton has hit out at F1 chiefs after drivers were rushed through anti-racism stance of taking the knee before the Hungarian Grand Prix
  • Players given short space of time to ‘Take the Knee’ before national anthems 
  • Lewis Hamilton and others in place before but others weren’t ready in time
  • Antonio Giovanazzi forgot to wear his ‘END RACISM’ T-shirt and was thrown it

Lewis Hamilton hit out at Formula One chiefs after drivers were given a small amount of time to rushingly ‘take the knee’ before the Hungarian Grand Prix.

In a confusing display, Lewis Hamilton and others went down on one knee but other drivers hadn’t yet made it to their positions, and could be seen running into place during the moment.

Drivers then quickly stood for the songs, meaning the moment of ‘taking the knee’ did not quite achieve the powerful image intended.  

Formula One had further issues with their attempts to show solidarity against racism

After being given a short space of time to ‘take the knee’, some drivers were not in position

Speaking to Sky Sports about the incident after his dominant victory, Hamilton hit out at GDPA chairman Romain Grosjean.

‘He thinks it was done once and that is all we need to do. I tried to speak to him about what the problem is and why it isn’t going away and we have to keep fighting for it. But I think this time he didn’t mention anything in the drivers’ briefing, and neither did Sebastian (Vettel)’, Hamilton said.

‘Sebastian and I messaged each other and he stressed as did I the importance of continuing to do it (take the knee). I think moving forwards we need to speak with Formula One. 

‘They have got to do a better job. It was such a rush. Us getting out of the car, running over, quickly doing it, taking the knee and you know… they need to do more. I don’t know why they haven’t, they only did the start for the first race and not done it since then. 

‘They have come out saying they are going to fight diversity and end racism but they are not giving us the platform to continue that.’

Some drivers were still getting into position when the stance took place during a small window

All drivers then quickly stood up in order to honour the national anthems before the race

To add to the badly organised moment, drivers had been given black ‘END RACISM’ T-shirts to wear but Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovanazzi had not yet put his on.

Giovanazzi could also be seen being thrown his t-shirt after the anthems had started.  

While it was more down to a poorly organised and executed stance rather than any political stance, it is the latest issue Formula One has had in their efforts to make a strong message against racism.

Taking the knee has become a popular stance against racism, with many sports adopting the practice with their participants.

However, its links with the Black Lives Matter movement has divided drivers on the grid. Before races all the drivers have worn anti-racism shirts, with the majority taking a knee. 

Antonio Giovinazzi (centre left) was thrown his ‘END RACISM’ T-shirt after he forgot to wear it

Lewis Hamilton and others were left ‘taking the knee’ while others weren’t in place

F1 has had other issues with showing solidarity against racism after some drivers chose not to take the knee at the Austrian Grand Prix due to links to the Black Lives Matter movement

Some including Verstappen, Kimi Raikkonen and Charles Leclerc have elected to stand, and it has resulted in awkward images being broadcast globally signalling a mixed message. 

Many F1 fans were baffled by the moment and took to social media to talk of their confusion around the incident.

@DannyBrennan72 said: ‘The drivers were allowed to kneel for about 5-10 seconds before they started the anthem. Some of them hadn’t even made it into position yet. Another botched spectacle from F1’.

Others were similarly unhappy with the short 5-10 second time given by F1 for the moment.

@adehilmt said: ‘we saw the drivers kneeling for literally 5sec. if we have time to show 1h of interviews pre race surely f1 can give them more time to kneel and more air time it’s really not that hard’, while @formulamaddie called for them to do more, ‘@ F1: show your commitment and allow adaquate time for drivers to kneel before the anthem. it’s not hard. plan it better. do better.’

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