Confusion as drivers miss knee protest before second Spielberg race

Spielberg (Austria) (AFP) –


After a week of debate as to whether Formula One drivers should take a united stance on racism and all kneel before races, several seemed to miss a protest ahead of Sunday's Styrian Grand Prix.

Working out who knelt was made more difficult because the television images from the Red Bull Ring, where spectators are banned and the movement of journalists is restricted, switched from filming the grid to focusing on an overhead para-glider before the protest had finished, but it seemed several drivers were absent.

As they did last Sunday before the season-opening Grand Prix, 19 of the 20 drivers were wearing black 'End Racism' t-shirts, while Lewis Hamilton wore a 'Black Lives Matter' shirt when six of the paddock did not take a knee.

This time the majority again knelt as Max Verstappen of Red Bull, Charles Leclerc of Ferrari, Kimi Raikkonen of Alfa Romeo and Daniil Kvyat of Alpha Tauri stood.

But two of last week's holdouts, Antonio Giovinazzi of Alfa Romeo and Carlos Sainz of McLaren could not be seen on TV standing, but that might have been because they were not there.

Hamilton had said in advance he understood some of his colleagues might not take a knee, but on Thursday had made clear also Formula One had failed to follow the example of other major sports in demonstrating unity in the global anti-racism campaign.

Formula One's top drivers were divided again on Sunday when several chose not take a knee ahead of the Styrian Grand Prix.