'Poor form': F1's 'disgusting' act during Black Lives Matter protest

·Sports Editor
·4-min read
F1 drives, pictured here taking part in a Black Lives Matter protest before the Styrian Grand Prix.
Drives take part in a Black Lives Matter protest before the Styrian Grand Prix. (Photo by MARK THOMPSON/AFP via Getty Images)

Commentators and fans have slammed Formula One after the TV broadcast for the Styrian Grand Prix cut away from a driver protest for the Black Lives Matter movement.

As we saw last week at the Austrian Grand Prix, a number of drivers joined Lewis Hamilton in taking a knee on the grid before the race on Sunday.

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With Hamilton wearing a ‘Black Lives Matter’ shirt and his colleagues wearing ones that said ‘end racism’, the stars if F1 sent a powerful message to the world.

However like we saw seven days ago, some drivers chose to remain standing rather than kneeling with Hamilton.

And fans were left fuming when the TV broadcast cut away from the protest before it was over, showing some Red Bull skydivers instead.

“To see the live feed from the F1 grid cut away from showing any drivers taking/not taking a knee is not one bit helpful,” journalist Dave Humphreys tweeted.

“Disappointing no matter how much Red Bull is paying in sponsorship.”

ITV2 presenter Melissa Nathoo was also unimpressed.

“I do think the sport should show a united front, but kneeling or not is the decision of the drivers,” she said.

“However, cutting away at that moment was poor form and completely negates the message of the movement.”

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Others called it ‘poor form’ and ‘disgusting’.

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F1 drivers’ ‘mixed messages’ cause a stir

Hamilton went on to win the race, raising his fist in the air on the podium in another powerful message.

However pundits were left confused by the ‘mixed’ stance of drivers.

“You’ve got to ask the question would it have been in the best interests in the image of this sport to get it together this week. That’s not a judgment, it’s for you to decide at home,” Sky Sports’ F1 host Simon Lazenby said.

“The images still don’t seem to fit the message in this the most global of sports. If NASCAR, football and cricket can get it right, why can’t Formula One.

“That’s the question. From where I’m standing here, we have seen some taking an knee and some not, it’s just a mixed message.”

Former F1 world champion Jenson Button added, saying: “I agree, it doesn’t look so good with some standing and some kneeling but the important thing to me is what they have to say about ending racism, they all agree.

F1 drivers, pictured here before the Styrian Grand Prix.
Some drivers remained standing while others knelt before the Styrian Grand Prix. (Photo by MARK THOMPSON/AFP via Getty Images)

“I think we as Formula One have to be proactive in pushing forward and ending racism and we race as one. It can’t go quiet, we need to mention it every race, we need to not only be mentioning it, we need to be proactive in making change.

“I still don’t know how we go about that to help diversity in our sport as well. It’s something we all need to sit down and discuss and make change.”

Six-times world champion Hamilton dominated the Styrian Grand Prix in a Mercedes one-two to celebrate his 85th Formula One win and move a step closer to Michael Schumacher's record of 91 victories.

Finnish teammate Valtteri Bottas, winner of last weekend's season-opener that was also held without spectators at Austria's Red Bull Ring, finished 13.719 seconds behind on Sunday with his championship lead cut to six points.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen completed the podium, more than half a minute behind Hamilton, on a sunny afternoon at his team's home track.

with AAP

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