Lewis Hamilton sought out the six Formula One drivers who opted not to take a knee with the 14 others prior to the Austrian grand prix to encourage them to join in the symbolic gesture against racism.
The six-time F1 drivers champion, the sport’s first and only black driver, told Motorsport.com that he had spoken to the six outliers in the hopes that the whole grid might take a knee at a later point inn the season.
NOT HAPPENING: Mercedes close the door on Sebastian Vettel
First and foremost for Hamilton though, was ensuring all drivers were on the same page about the sport’s anti-racism stance.
“We had this debate of whether we’re going to do it again. I said I’m going to continue to do it,” he said.
“There were some that were like: ‘Well I already did it last week, I’m not doing it again.’ There were some that continued to have the same approach that they had to the first week.
“That’s why I tried to spend a bit more one-on-one time with a few of those that had chosen to stand, just to have a chat.
“From the drivers’ point of view, I think we’re going to come closer during this period of time, not saying that everyone is going to be taking a knee, but over time, we begin to talk about this more often.
“I like to think that at some stage, we’ll all be together, understanding, taking a knee.”
Lewis Hamilton hoping to organise more shows of solidarity
While the acknowledgement of the Black Lives Matter movement, which was spearheaded by Hamilton, rans smoothly at the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix, proceedings were a little less organised at last week’s Styrian GP.
Once again, not all drivers took a knee, but the more ad-hoc nature of the second protest led to some confusion.
Some drivers were late to the grid while Haas driver Kevin Magnussen was absent entirely after being unable to locate a mask and his ‘End Racism’ shirt.
“Because we planned it, it wasn’t in the FIA schedule, so it was all a rush,” Hamilton said.
“We were supposed to be there I think at 15 minutes-to, I was there at 10-to, and the guys were coming from much further back.
“We just got on with it, and some did try to get there, but it was too late.
“Moving forward, maybe next time we’ll try to do a better job, if we are to do the same thing. But that’s not my choice.”