News Sport news Hamil­ton wants more sup­port from F1 & dri­vers against racism

Hamil­ton wants more sup­port from F1 & dri­vers against racism

Lewis Hamil­ton demand­ed more sup­port from For­mu­la One’s gov­ern­ing body and urged oth­er dri­vers to make more of an effort in the fight against racism, after some dri­vers took a knee and oth­ers again did not in dis­or­ga­nized scenes before Sun­day’s Hun­gar­i­an Grand Prix.

As in the pre­vi­ous two races this sea­son, all dri­vers were sup­posed to gath­er before the nation­al anthem to stand while wear­ing “End Racism” T‑shirts. Hamil­ton and oth­ers, such as his Mer­cedes team­mate Valt­teri Bot­tas and Fer­rar­i’s Sebas­t­ian Vet­tel, took a knee while oth­ers appeared to be hur­ried­ly arriv­ing late and not even in position.

It meant that before the dri­vers were all gath­ered togeth­er as one, the anthem had start­ed and Hamil­ton and those kneel­ing had to quick­ly stand up out of respect for the host country.

“There def­i­nite­ly is not enough sup­port for it. From a driver’s point of view, well many peo­ple seem to be of the opin­ion they’ve done (tak­en a knee) once and (are) not going to do it again. I don’t know their rea­sons for that opin­ion,” Hamil­ton said after win­ning the race. “All I could say is we’re not doing near­ly enough. I think ulti­mate­ly it’s still indi­vid­u­als think­ing it’s not important.”

Hamil­ton is a six-time world cham­pi­on and the only black dri­ver in F1.

“I don’t think it’s being tak­en seri­ous,” the British dri­ver said. “I think there are per­haps peo­ple who have not grown up around (the issue of racism) and don’t under­stand it.”

But ulti­mate­ly Hamil­ton says it’s down to F1’s gov­ern­ing body, the FIA, and F1 to show more assertive lead­er­ship in the way soc­cer leagues in Eng­land and Ger­many have done — as well as the Eng­land and West Indies crick­et teams — with all play­ers unit­ed in tak­ing a knee against racism before games.

“It’s not good enough, in terms of what you see in oth­er sports. It’s almost like it’s gone off the agen­da,” Hamil­ton said. “It’s lack­ing lead­er­ship and ulti­mate­ly there needs to be lead­er­ship from the top. Cur­rent­ly there is none of that.”

Hamil­ton pledged to per­son­al­ly con­tact FIA pres­i­dent Jean Todt this week to seek an improve­ment in the way the anti-racism mes­sage is being coor­di­nat­ed at the very top.

Todt was present at Sun­day’s race.

“I will get in touch with For­mu­la One this week, I will speak to Jean because no one else is going to do it,” Hamil­ton said. “I think we need a leader. Where is Jean in that scenario?”

Hamil­ton, who has pre­vi­ous­ly called out oth­er teams for not doing enough to send a strong mes­sage out against racism, does not think it should be only left to him to keep push­ing others.

“It shouldn’t be for me to have to call the teams (and) say ‘Hey, what are you doing? What’s your plan?’” Hamil­ton said. “That should be announced or dis­cussed from the top down, that should be com­ing from the high­er pow­ers that con­trol (the sport) and pull the strings.”

Source: www​.thein​tel​li​gencer​.com / Jerome Pugmire,