Fourteen of twenty drivers, including Briton Lewis Hamilton wearing a Black Lives Matter T-shirt, put their knees on the ground in support of the fight against racism before the start of the Formula 1 Austrian Grand Prix on Sunday . All the others were dressed in T-shirts with the words “End racism”. It was left to the drivers to express their commitment in this way in the manner of their choice and, therefore, the Dutchman Max Verstappen (Red Bull), the Monegasque Charles Leclerc (Ferrari), the Spanish Carlos Sainz Jr, the Russian Daniil Kvyat (AlphaTauri), Italian Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo) and Finnish Kimi Räikkönen (Alfa Romeo) remained standing.
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"I think the important thing is everyday facts and behavior more than formal gestures that could be perceived as controversial in some countries," Leclerc explained on Instagram. "I will not put my knee on the ground, but that does not mean that I am less committed than others in the fight against racism." "I think everyone has the right to express themselves when and how they want," Verstappen said on Twitter. I will not put my knee on the ground but I respect and support the personal choices of each driver. ”
An action for diversity
Encouraged by Briton Lewis Hamilton, several drivers and teams, as well as F1 and the International Automobile Federation (FIA), took a stand against racism following the death of George Floyd at the hands of police officers in the United States. may. The Mercedes sport a black livery this season to support the Black Lives Matter movement and the fight against racism; the paddock and the single-seaters are adorned this weekend with rainbows in tribute to the struggles against racism but also against the Covid-19. The promoter of F1 has also set up an action to increase diversity in the sport, very white and very masculine, to which the FIA announced to contribute financially on Sunday.
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