Hamilton says F1 drivers were not target over racism silence

Lewis Hamilton says he was not targeting his fellow Formula 1 drivers in his criticism of people "staying silent" over racial injustice, but speaking about motorsport as a whole.

Hamilton says F1 drivers were not target over racism silence

Amid ongoing activism around the world against racism and racial injustice in the wake of the killing of George Floyd in May, Hamilton - the only black driver in F1 history - has been vocal in a push for change within the industry.

Hamilton wrote on Instagram at the end of May that he saw "those of you who are staying silent" and described F1 as "a white dominated sport", leading the call for greater diversity. 

Hamilton's comments prompted a number of other drivers to post their own messages condemning racism, while a number of campaigns within F1 to effect change have been launched in recent weeks.

Speaking in a video as part of a new Daimler citizenship campaign, Hamilton clarified that he was calling on motorsport as a whole to speak up against injustice - not specifically his fellow drivers.

"Ultimately, people perceived it as that I was targeting drivers," Hamilton said. "I really wasn't. It was targeted at the whole industry. It's been something I've been aware of for a long, long time, and not really seen anyone do anything about it.

"In today's world where we all have a platform to be able to utilise our voice, we all have these followers, our voices are very powerful.

"If you're not a part of trying to encourage people to get out there and understand what this situation is, and why we're in this situation, then for me, that's frustrating.

"People being silent is something I've experienced for such a long time, and it's not the time to be silent. This is a time to help spread the message, to pull together. We need as many voices as we can to promote push for change.

"That was really a calling to people within the industry for accountability, for all the brands. They need to do more. This sport needs to do more. The FIA need to do more.

"We all need to do more. That was really what the message was about."

Read Also:

Mercedes confirmed on Monday that it would be changing to a black-based livery for the entire 2020 season as part of its anti-racism campaign.

The team has also launched a new scheme to improve diversity within its team after revealing just 3% of its workforce belonged to an ethnic minority group. 

Hamilton has also launched a new commission to try and improve diversity throughout the industry, targeting areas such as STEM subjects to make opportunities more accessible to those from minority backgrounds. 

"It is a very expensive sport, and I think that's definitely an underlying factor," Hamilton said.

"There are so many great jobs and opportunities within our sport, but there is the opportunity is not the same for minorities to get through.

"That's why I put together this commission to try to see and understand why that is the case: why there are not these intelligent minorities, why are they not coming through? Why are they not finishing university?

"You can't change what you don't know, and I think that's the issue. I think a lot of people have opinions for why there are no other black drivers or why there are not many people of colour within our sport, but no-one truly knows what are the root cause is.

"That is what the goal is of this commission that I'm trying to put together, which is a lot of work, but I really, really hope it can have a real positive change."

shares
comments

Related video

Live blog: Austrian Grand Prix Thursday

Previous article

Live blog: Austrian Grand Prix Thursday

Next article

Mercedes upgrades F1 engine for Austrian GP

Mercedes upgrades F1 engine for Austrian GP
Load comments
The details that boosted Verstappen and held back Hamilton in Austin Prime

The details that boosted Verstappen and held back Hamilton in Austin

As the 2021 Formula 1 title battle winds towards its climax, the United States GP added another thrilling act in the Lewis Hamilton-Max Verstappen battle. Although Hamilton aced the start, Verstappen and Red Bull took the initiative with strategy and were richly rewarded, despite Mercedes' best efforts as the race went down to the wire

US Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

US Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a baking hot afternoon in Texas, Formula 1 drivers were tested to their limits. As the pressure on the title contending squads reaches an ever-greater level of intensity, the foremost challengers again showed their class, but were outshone by a standout drive from the upper midfield

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert Prime

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert

It's 50 years since Jo Siffert was killed in his prime at Brands Hatch. The Swiss scored just two world championship wins in a Formula 1 career spent largely with privateer teams, but showed on numerous occasions in single-seaters and in sportscars with Porsche that he could beat any of the best drivers of his era given the right equipment.

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
Why a misunderstood Kimi Raikkonen will thrive in retirement Prime

Why a misunderstood Kimi Raikkonen will thrive in retirement

Three years on from Kimi Raikkonen's last Grand Prix victory at Austin, he is now six races away from ending the longest Formula 1 career in history. His friend and former Ice1 Racing rally team PR man Anthony Peacock explains why there’s nobody quite like the 2007 world champion and why F1 will miss him (but he won’t miss it).

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
How Verstappen has become F1 champion material Prime

How Verstappen has become F1 champion material

As Red Bull and Honda go all-out for victory in the Japanese engine manufacturer’s last season of its latest Formula 1 dalliance, Max Verstappen finds himself thrust into a compelling title fight with Lewis Hamilton. He told OLEG KARPOV about his evolution into a world championship contender and why Red Bull's no compromise ethos suits him down to the ground

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
Why long-run times should please Red Bull in Austin F1 battle Prime

Why long-run times should please Red Bull in Austin F1 battle

Mercedes has been on a roll of late in the ultra-tight fight to win the 2021 Formula 1 world championship. It started off well in practice at Austin for this weekend’s US Grand Prix, but Red Bull got closer as Friday unfolded and even seemed to find an edge in one critical area of what seems set to be set to be another close contest.

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen Prime

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen

The 2021 Formula 1 title battle is finely poised with six races remaining, as just six points separate championship leader Max Verstappen from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. In such a closely-fought season, the outcome could hinge on several small factors playing the way of Red Bull or Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021
Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed? Prime

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed?

Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll is determined to make the group a billion-dollar business. MARK GALLAGHER analyses his latest play – bringing former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh into the fold

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021