More Formula One drivers expected to stand rather than take a knee during anti-racism protest at Styrian Grand Prix


More Formula One drivers are expected to stand rather than take a knee at this weekend’s Styrian Grand Prix.

Ahead of the season-opening Austrian GP last Sunday, all 20 drivers lined up on the grid in a powerful message against racism, with 14 of them taking a knee.

Six drivers opted to stand during the protest on Sunday

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Six drivers opted to stand during the protest on Sunday

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc, were among six who elected to stand in the moments before Sunday’s race at the Red Bull Ring, although both posted messages saying they were committed to the fight for equality.

Nineteen of the drivers donned t-shirts emblazoned with the message ‘End Racism’, while Lewis Hamilton wore a ‘Black Lives Matter’ t-shirt.

Now it is believed that some of the drivers who knelt last weekend could now decide to stand on Sunday, when they return to the same track for the new Styrian GP.

Hamilton was the only driver to wear a Black Lives Matter t-shirt

AFP or licensors

Hamilton was the only driver to wear a Black Lives Matter t-shirt

Formula One bosses will not stop Lewis Hamilton from continuing to take a knee at races this season.

Hamilton knelt before the first round in Austria, and subsequently revealed he would carry on performing the gesture if he was provided with a platform to do so by the sport.

It is understood that both Formula One’s American owners Liberty Media and governing body the FIA will inform Britain’s six-time world champion that he is free to kneel at the next instalment of the championship in Austria this weekend and for the remainder of the year.

Darren Bent hails Lewis Hamilton for pushing the equality message in F1 – He has done so much to open people’s eyes.”

The final decision is set to rest with the drivers, who are likely to discuss the divisive subject again in Spielberg on Friday.

Darren Bent has praised Hamilton for battling his critics and pioneering equality and the Black Lives Matter message in Formula One.

“Lewis Hamilton has been doing so much for that sport to try and open people’s eyes.

“It was a bit strange to not to see everyone kneeling, it shows there’s still a little bit of a divide there.

“I know some of them will say kneeling means something different in their countries… but it’s a step in the right direction for that sport.

“Hamilton has come under fire, by the way, the criticism and stick he’s taken especially during this whole Black Lives Matter movement…

“If you look at some of the comments he gets on a daily basis on Twitter, for someone who is an absolute pioneer in his sport, winning six world titles, and for him to get the kind of stick he does, it’s totally uncalled for, it’s totally unjustified.

“And even so, he’s still doing all he can to try and take this forward.”

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