Hamilton: F1 lacking leadership over anti-racism messaging

Lewis Hamilton says that Formula 1 is lacking leadership in its anti-racism messaging, feeling the matter has "gone off the agenda" in recent weeks

Hamilton: F1 lacking leadership over anti-racism messaging

Amid ongoing anti-racism protests and activism around the world, F1 held a show of unity between its drivers ahead of the season opener in Austria two weeks ago.

All drivers wore t-shirts reading 'End Racism', and 14 of the 20 drivers took a knee before the national anthem in a set part of the pre-race schedule.

While those drivers took a knee again before the second and third races of the season, the arrangement was more rushed, leading to a fractured display.

Mercedes driver Hamilton was especially frustrated after Sunday's race in Hungary, and called on F1 to give the drivers a better platform for their anti-racism messaging after lamenting the lack of time in the schedule.

Speaking at length after the race on the matter, Hamilton said there was "definitely not enough support" for the kneel among the drivers, and called on F1's leadership to be stronger in its messaging.

"Many people seem to be of the opinion that they've [knelt] once and they're not going to do it again. And I don't know all the reasons for that opinion," Hamilton said.

"Formula 1 did an OK job I would say 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.

"It's almost like it's gone off the agenda after that. It's lacking leadership, and ultimately, we perform in a sport. There needs to be leadership from the top, you need to come out with 'OK hey, this is what we want to do guys, and we want you all to be a part of it'.

"Currently there is none of that. I try not to lean so much on the drivers, because I don't want them to feel that it's me doing it, because that's probably, could be in some cases the reason why people won't want to do it, because I'm doing it.

"But I don't think it's being taken seriously."

Hamilton has confirmed he will contact F1 boss Chase Carey and FIA president Jean Todt to discuss the issue this week, saying it should not down to him as a driver to hold others accountable.

"You need a leader. Where is Jean in that scenario?" Hamilton said.

"It shouldn't be for me to have to call the teams or call the teams out. I want to encourage them, but it shouldn't be me who has to get on a call with them and say 'hey, what are you doing? What's your plan?'

"That should be announced or discussed from the top down. That should be coming from the higher powers that control and pull all the strings."

Asked by Autosport if he felt there had been any progress in F1 by starting a wider conversation about improving diversity, Hamilton replied: "We haven't made any progress.

"We have said things, and there's been statements released, and we've made gestures such as kneeling. But we've not changed anything, except for perhaps some of our awareness.

"I am definitely encouraged by our team, and those that are in Formula 1 that are like, what else can we do more, what can we do better? I think it's about communication.

"As I said, I'll get back on a call with Formula 1 and see how, where they are, where they're feeling confused, where they're feeling pressure.

"I'd love to know what Jean thinks, I'd love to know what Chase thinks, and what the organisation thinks moving forwards. But there is no progress yet."

shares
comments
Red Bull: F1 car anomalies causing it to misbehave
Previous article

Red Bull: F1 car anomalies causing it to misbehave

Next article

Brawn: Racing Point F1 protest "tricky problem" for FIA to resolve

Brawn: Racing Point F1 protest "tricky problem" for FIA to resolve
Load comments
The historic clues that offer hints of Hamilton’s next move Plus

The historic clues that offer hints of Hamilton’s next move

OPINION: Uncertainty over Lewis Hamilton's future has persisted since the race direction call that denied him an eighth world title in Abu Dhabi last month. But while walking away would be understandable, Hamilton has time and again responded well in the face of adversity and possesses all the tools needed to bounce back stronger than ever

Formula 1
Jan 26, 2022
What the FIA must do to restore F1’s credibility Plus

What the FIA must do to restore F1’s credibility

OPINION: The first stage of the 2022 Formula 1 pre-season is just over a month away, but the championship is still reeling from the controversial results of last year’s finale. The FIA acknowledges F1 has had its reputation dented as a result, so here’s how it could go about putting things right

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2022
The six F1 subplots to watch in 2022 as a new era begins Plus

The six F1 subplots to watch in 2022 as a new era begins

As Formula 1 prepares to begin a new era of technical regulations in 2022, Autosport picks out six other key elements to follow this season

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2022
Why newly-retired Raikkonen won't miss F1 Plus

Why newly-retired Raikkonen won't miss F1

After 349 grand prix starts, 46 fastest laps, 21 wins and one world championship, Kimi Raikkonen has finally called time on his F1 career. In an exclusive interview with Autosport on the eve of his final race, he explains his loathing of paddock politics and reflects on how motorsport has changed over the past two decades

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2022
Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shakeup Plus

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shakeup

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. Autosport breaks down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Formula 1
Jan 21, 2022
Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems Plus

Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway. But instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Plus

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Plus

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. JAMES NEWBOLD hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwarts

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022