Auto Culture

Formula One Plans Better Anti-Racism Message For 2020 British Grand Prix


After a few weeks of haphazardly-arranged presentations at the Austrian, Styrian and particularly, Hungarian Grand Prix, Formula One has announced that they will organize a better anti-racism message before this weekend’s 2020 British Grand Prix – on the home turf of the sport’s only Black driver and six-time defending world champion, Lewis Hamilton.

After the first three grands prix, Hamilton had criticized Formula 1 and its governing body [FIA] of “lacking leadership” on the issue and specifically, after the poor coordination at the last two races.

At the opening race – the 2020 Austrian Grand Prix – F1 organized an anti-racism demonstration at the front of the grid and before the national anthem was played but while all drivers wore “end racism” t-shirts [except for Hamilton, who wore a “Black Lives Matter” t-shirt], not all drivers took a symbolic knee alongside Hamilton, with six drivers declining to do so.

At the next two races, the messaging was even less cohesive as no time was allocated in the schedule causing some drivers to miss it as well as the protest not being effectively covered by the television broadcast.

Hamilton said after winning in Hungary: “F1 did an OK job at the first race. It’s not good enough in terms of what you see in other sports, but still it was a step forwards. And then it’s almost like it’s gone off the agenda after that,” said Hamilton.

For the 2020 British Grand Prix, F1 and the FIA have told the drivers and teams that there will be a specific time for the anti-racism protest allocated in the pre-race schedule and all drivers will be required to assemble and appropriate t-shirts will be provided, although it will be left to each individual to demonstrate their support in their own way.

“I don’t think it’s being taken seriously. There are perhaps people who have not grown up around it so don’t understand it, and there are those that think because of that, ‘it doesn’t affect me’. I have heard those comments: ‘It doesn’t do anything for me, so why should I do it?’, said Hamilton. “But it’s not about me and it’s not about you. It’s about this fight that the world… people out there who are experiencing discrimination. That’s what we’re fighting for – we’re fighting for change in organisations.”

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