Organisers of the Formula One gave drivers an extra 10 minutes on the grid before the commencement of the British Grand Prix, which took place in Northampton, England on Sunday, August 2.
This extra time allowed them to stage a Black Lives Matter protest, with British racing driver Lewis Hamilton and a number of others deciding to take a knee to show their support, Fox Sports has reported.
All of the F1 drivers donned T-shirts that read “END RACISM”, while Hamilton wore “BLACK LIVES MATTER” on his shirt.
While many of the F1 drivers took a knee during the protest, seven racers including Kevin Magnussen, Antonio Giovinazzi, Carlos Sainz, Charles Leclerc, Daniil Kvyat, Max Verstappen and Kimi Raikkonen decided to remain standing. According to Fox Sports, many of them cited political reasons for their decision against kneeling.
Hamilton is a vocal supported of the Black Lives Matter movement and insists that he would never want his fellow F1 drivers to feel like they had to kneel.
“I don’t want it to be a case of people feeling forced. I want people to be excited to be a part of the change,” he said.
“I want people to think that while they are fortunate not to have experienced racism, they can try to understand what it feels like and that they don’t want people to feel that way and want to be part of change so in the future our kids can lead a better quality of life.”
According to F1 racer Lando Norris, all of the drivers are united in their support, whether or not they kneel.
“Whether we do take the knee or we don’t take the knee, that is not the question. I don’t think that needs to be the reason why people judge some of us to be in support of it or not. We all support it,” Norris said.