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Hamilton Criticizes Formula One For Racism Messaging


Six-time defending world Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton has criticized both the Formula 1 organization and a few of his fellow drivers for not having a strong, cohesive messaging regarding racism.

Hamilton – the only Black driver currently in F1 – has consistently worn a “Black Lives Matter” shirt and kneeled before every race so far in the 2020 season as his way of showing his support for the anti-racism message and opposition to police brutality against Black people. For all three races, most of the drivers have joined him in support of that messaging, but a few have, notably, not and the 2020 Hungarian Grand Prix was an example of that lack of unity.

“There is definitely not enough support for it. It’s lacking leadership. From a drivers’ point of view, many seem to be of the opinion they’ve done it and they’re not doing it again,” said Hamilton after the race.

Hamilton went on to single out Haas’ Romain Grosjean, who – along with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and former driver Alex Wurz, are the three directors of the Grand Prix Drivers Association, which should be throwing their support behind the messaging.

“The GPDA is run by three people, two who are really for it and supportive, and one who is one of those who tends to not think it is important to continue with,” said Hamilton.

“But 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 because of that ‘it doesn’t affect me’. 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 organizations,” explained Hamilton.

As for F1’s role in the messaging, Hamilton feels the response has been underwhelming.

“We’ve said things and there’s been statements released and we’ve made gestures such as kneeling but we’ve not changed anything,” Hamilton said. “Except for perhaps some of our awareness. But you need a leader. Where is Jean [Todt, FiA chief] in that scenario?”

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