F1 anti-racism ceremony needs better coordination - Hamilton

Budapest (AFP) –


Lewis Hamilton on Sunday again called on Formula One’s drivers and management to improve coordination of the sport’s anti-racism stance and the pre-race ‘taking a knee’ ceremony.

The six-time champion, who produced a classic drive to complete a hat-trick of victories in the Hungarian Grand Prix, revealed that there were clear rifts among the drivers and a lack of planning for the ceremony, that is part of many other major sports events, that took place at the Hungaroring.

Hamilton said that the shambolic and rushed ceremony that took place ahead of Sunday’s race was not mentioned or planned in the official drivers’ briefing meeting and said the chairman of the Grand Prix Drivers Association (GPDA) Romain Grosjean did not think it was necessary.

"He doesn’t think it is important," Hamilton told Sky Sports F1, adding that Frenchman Grosjean suggested that one show of support including taking a knee was enough.

"He thinks once is enough and they don’t need to do it again. I told him that it is not going away and we have to continue the fight.

"This time no-one mentioned it in the drivers’ briefing, but Sebastian (Vettel) messaged me and we agreed that it is important that we keep doing it."

Hamilton added that there was insufficient time put aside for the ceremony and that it was done in a rush before the national anthem.

"I got out of the car and then I was rushing over to do it and there wasn’t enough time. We need to do more – it was part of the start at the first race, but we haven’t done it like that since then.”

He said that Formula One has said "they want to fight, but it is too rushed and we have such a platform… They have to coordinate with us and do it.”

He added that he had worked to coordinate the drivers, but "there’s not a lot I can do… I used a lot of energy in Austria to try and convince some of them."

"My dream is that we’ll all come around and at the last race we can all kneel down – and that would be beautiful.”