Before the start of the Grand Prix in Austria, 14 Formula 1 racers kneeled in solidarity with the victims of racism. Russian Daniil Kvyat and five others remained standing.
14 of the 20 Formula 1 racers before starting at the Grand Prix in Spielberg (Austria) on Sunday, July 5, stood on one knee in protest against racism. The six-time Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton and four-time champion Sebastian Vettel took part in the action.
On the Hamilton T-shirt it says “Black lives matter”, on the t-shirts of other riders it says “End racism”. Among the six riders who did not support this gesture are Dutchman Max Verstappen, Finn Kimi Raikkonen and Russian Daniil Kvyat. They explained that they oppose racism, but knee worship has different meanings in different countries and is somewhere considered disrespectful.
“What happens in our daily lives and how we behave is more important than formal gestures,” Charles Lecler, one of the protesters, who also did not kneel, wrote on his Twitter.
Initially, the season, consisting of 22 Grand Prix, was supposed to begin on March 15 in Melbourne. The rapid spread of coronavirus in the world has led to the cancellation of stages in Australia, the Netherlands, Monaco and France, as well as the postponement of races in Bahrain, China, Vietnam, Spain, Azerbaijan and Canada. Before entering Austria, Formula 1 racers and personnel passed coronavirus tests. During the season, Hamilton will have to defend the title in the individual competition, and the Mercedes team will have the possession of the Cup of designers.