Charles Leclerc, 22, protested Thursday against accusations of racism against him on social networks, saying that his positions should be considered "apolitical". "I am quite active on social networks and I do not accept being treated by the names that I have been treated in recent weeks, in a negative way, because I do not kneel", during the demonstrations against the racism organized before the start of the F1 Grand Prix, he said Thursday at a press conference on the sidelines of the Grand Prix of 70 years of F1 this weekend at Silverstone.
>> READ ALSO: The world of F1 united against racism, but each in their own way
>> READ ALSO: Charles Leclerc will not kneel before the start
The Monegasque driver of Scuderia Ferrari had a few moments before posted a message on Twitter where he declared in particular: “It is very sad to see how some people manipulate what I say to make headlines and make believe that I am racist. I am not racist, I absolutely hate racism and racism is disgusting (...) To all those who use my image to promote their bad ideas, I politely ask them to stop. I don't do politics and I don't want to be involved in it. ” Leclerc then referred to the interpretation, made by some, of his words a few weeks ago to justify his choice: "I believe that the important thing are the daily facts and behaviors more than formal gestures which could be perceived as controversial in some countries. "
Stop putting me in the same group as these disgusting people that are discriminating others because of their skin color, religion or gender. I'm not part of them and I never will. I've always been respectful to everyone and that should be the standard in today's world. 2/3- Charles Leclerc (@Charles_Leclerc) August 6, 2020
At the initiative of the six-time British world champion Lewis Hamilton, the only black F1 driver, ceremonies are organized before the start of the Grand Prix where the drivers are called to demonstrate against racism. Of the 20 pilots entered in the world championship, the majority kneel but some, like Charles Leclerc, have chosen not to do so. This is also the case for Max Verstappen: “I think everyone has the right to express themselves when and how they want. I won't go down on my knee but I respect and support the personal choices of each driver. ” For Jean Todt, the president of the International Automobile Federation, there is in any case no controversy on the subject: "There are some who may want to kneel and there are some who can not wanting to express yourself in the same way. It is freedom, democracy, ”he told AFP on the subject.
- British GP Tops / Flops: Hamilton's Deserved Success, Pirelli Disaster