The majority of F1 drivers knelt before the Austrian F1 race, when a quiet moment was held in the starting grid for solidarity and anti-racism.
Kimi Räikkönen, Carlos Sainz, Max Verstappen, Charles Leclerc, Antonio Giovinazzi and Daniil Kvjat stood as the other drivers knelt in the way made famous by Yankee courier Colin Kaepernick.
The only dark-skinned driver in F1 history, Lewis Hamilton, commented on the issue after the race in his own press conference.
- I do not know the reasons behind all their decisions. I know of some of the views, but they are private and I don’t want to share them further, Hamilton said.
- No one should be forced to kneel, he reminded.
Hamilton also wanted to correct allegations that he had asked or demanded other drivers to kneel.
- I didn't even raise the issue. It was raised by F1 and GPDA (drivers association). At our meeting, Seb (Sebastian Vettel) and (Romain) Grosjean spoke on the matter and asked for our opinions. Several drivers announced that they did not intend to do so. I opened the matter from my own perspective and told me to kneel, but I also told others to do as you feel is the right solution, Hamilton said.
Hamilton said he sees kneeling as a strong message and is grateful to his rivals who knelt beside him.
- Kneeling or not kneeling will not change the world, however, Hamilton recalled and stressed that racism is a global problem.
The six-time world champion praised the F1 series and, above all, Mercedes for the work it has begun to do against racism.
- We all, myself included, need to look at what we can do better.