Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Red Bull Ring, 2020

Vettel joins Hamilton in supporting Black Lives Matter

2020 F1 season

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Sebastian Vettel has joined Lewis Hamilton in showing his support for the anti-racism movement Black Lives Matter at this weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix.

The Ferrari driver, who is not active on social media, added the campaign’s hashtag to his helmet during today’s practice sessions at the Red Bull Ring.

Teams are also carrying the slogan of Formula 1’s official pro-diversity initiative ‘#WeRaceAsOne’ at this weekend’s season-opening race.

Another driver who has voiced his support for Black Lives Matter is Daniel Ricciardo. In a post on social media on Friday, Ricciardo described how he decided he had to speak out against racism.

“The more I read, the more I looked for more information, you realise that institutional racism is endemic, worldwide, generational,” he wrote. “My own backyard is not immune. The Black Lives Matters protests in the US were prompted by the George Floyd death; the marches in Australia’s cities that followed identified the more than 430 deaths of indigenous Australians in custody just in my own lifetime. Different focuses in different countries, but really they’re all tied together to the same problem.

“I’ll never be able to know what it means to be black, what it means for countless black people to live every day with racial discrimination being a factor in their lives, no matter what part of the world they live in. I’m a white kid from Perth who grew up in the suburbs in an Italian-Australian family who drives cars around in circles for a living. I have no context in my own life to know how that level of racial discrimination feels.

“But that doesn’t stop me from wanting to learn more. It’s something all of us can do – ask questions, have those awkward conversations, learn from people who actually live this, who know this subject better than I ever could.”

Ricciardo said he has “perhaps been too naïve in the past, too distracted, too unaware” about social issues. “But another feeling is that this is perhaps a teaching point, a line in the sand, an opportunity. I’m generally an optimistic person in every aspect of my life, so I see this as perhaps a chance to accelerate change, to shift attitudes, to educate, to work at creating a ‘new normal’.

“Have I made mistakes in the past out of not knowing the facts? Sure. But I’m trying to do something about it.

“Is being a knowing bystander who says nothing enough? Absolutely not. Simply saying or thinking, “oh, I’m not a racist” and leaving it at that… that’s not enough.

“You have to be an advocate for change and someone who strives to make things better and, for me personally, do that from a position of being educated before I open my mouth, get on social media, give an answer when someone puts a microphone under your nose.”

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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30 comments on “Vettel joins Hamilton in supporting Black Lives Matter”

  1. Top guy. Wish him the best.

    1. I have been to F1 races at the track or watched on TV for nearly 50 years. I watch it for the excitement of racing and the interesting technical aspects. I do not wish to watch it for political point scoring.
      I will not being watching F1 any more, I will be cancelling Sky Sports.

      1. You won’t be missed!

      2. Hahahahahaha
        My man said he will stop watching F1 after nearly 50 years cos of support for BLM against police brutality and systemic racism.

        Why do people feel the need to tell others about their actions. You cant make this up.

        Pls dont cancel. We need you! Hahahaha

  2. Police brutality and systemic racism must end.

    1. Yes! Too many times have I seen in the comment section that BLM is a racist statement bla bla bla. It’s really that simple.

      1. It is. Pretty simple.

        It started with a lie and continues with lies but whatever..it’s ‘racist’ to point out reality.

        1. Grakkis, do you just disagree with the BLM movement or do you not agree full-stop that racism is still a problem in our world?

          1. Racism is sometimes still a problem in our world, but black people are not the only victims and whites are not the sole perpetrators.
            And, for God’s sake, BLM is NOT the solution, nor a pacific movement that deserves to be so highly praised.

  3. Racing topic please

    1. NeverElectric
      4th July 2020, 3:00

      Appropriate surname.

      1. What a lesson of democracy we have here.
        What an example of respect.

  4. Given the anger expressed on here against Hamilton for his BLM connection over the last few days I was expecting a plethora of vitriolic posts by now on this story. Must be something that sets Hamilton apart from the likes of Vettel and Ricciardo. Odd.

    1. Oh they dont wanna have this conversation.

    2. Jack (@jackisthestig)
      4th July 2020, 7:14

      A token gesture of a sticker on your helmet or a single post on social media just to make sure people don’t think you’re standing by and facilitating racism doesn’t have much substance does it? Lewis put the call out there to jump on the bandwagon and they duly responded. There’s not much more to say than that.

  5. I think BLM are right on point when they bring up all these race issues which otherwise would remain underneath the surface but are very real to many folks. The push back comes from people who have dominated society and transformed it to their liking andadvantage. BLM speaks of social injustice not only towards black people but to other sectors that are directly or indirectly being discriminated, particularly in the western countries. Hamilton is the perfect ambassador and the fact that other drivers are joining in like Vettel and Riccardo is wonderful.

  6. If Lewis or Sebastian were brave, they’d put on their helmets “All Lives Matter”. See what kind of response that would get.

    1. Hamilton would hardly get any criticism if he were to do that, at least not from F1 people. On the other hand if Vettel were to do that it would probably be an ending-career move.

    2. Wouldn’t that be marked as racist these days in which pretty much anything gets racialized anyway?

      1. It’s not racist to say “all lives matter”, it’s just ignorant and shows an unwillingness to learn or accept what the BLM movement is actually about. I mostly blame social media, lots of people getting their “news” in an echo chamber and plenty of disingenuous and inflammatory memes.

        1. No one is saying that all lives don’t matter. Of course, they do, all lives DO matter. The point of BLM is that it is time to point out the injustice towards minorities that is so prevalent. If I can put this another way, imagine a person lying in the road after an accident, his/her leg broken. He/she calls out to someone to go get a doctor, because his/her leg matters. That someone then replies, “but my leg matters too!” Of course, it does. But it isn’t that legs that needs attention at that moment, it is the broken leg of the person in the accident.

          1. Nope. BLM doesn’t point out the injustices towards MINORITIES.
            In fact, it only points out injustices towards black people.
            And it fools people to believe this is the sole discrimination worth fighting against.

    3. I would imagine the overwhelming response would be ‘are you one of the few numpties who think it means Black Lives Matter more than other lives? Or are you one of those strange soles who see an imaginary ‘only’ prefix that no one else can?

    4. NeverElectric
      4th July 2020, 3:17

      Two houses in the same neighbourhood, one is on fire while the other, some distance away, is not.
      The occupants of the burning house and their neighbours call the fire brigade and, while waiting for it to arrive, get together to put out the fire at the burning house – at which point the occupant of the house that’s not on fire shows up and demands to know why they aren’t also dousing his (non-burning) house with water. After all, he screams, “all houses matter!”

      Check yourself.

      1. THis is by far one of the foolest, overused and nonsense little story that BLM activists made up.

        1. NeverElectric
          4th July 2020, 13:43

          It’s not “nonsense” just because you said so. You have to show that it is. Astonishing as it might sound to you, your privilege doesn’t extend to automatic believability. You have to make the point and prove it.
          Now, go back to your Klan posse, get some points and bring them here for debunking.

  7. Jason Doyle
    4th July 2020, 0:08

    Just want to see racing again to make our world a little brighter. Imagine all of us living as one 😀

  8. odd, I would expect the usual posters to be firing away in the comments, but its quiet. Very quiet.

  9. NeverElectric
    4th July 2020, 3:10

    This is a demonstration of what Black people call “systemic racism”. Thanks to Leith for posting this article and helping illustrate the point.
    Lewis Hamilton makes a comment or posts on social media opposing racism and supporting Black Lives Matter – and the comments on the article right here are full of vitriol and undisguised contempt and barely hidden disgust. The overall sentiment is – he needs to shut up and just drive the car!
    Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo make comments opposing racism and supporting Black Lives Matter and – no vitriol. No disgust. No contempt. Just a few supportive comments about how they are nice guys etc.
    This, then, is what systemic racism looks like. That, when a Black person and a White person do the same thing, the social outcomes for the Black person are generally negative while the White person receives either positive social outcomes, or is left alone.
    Sad to say, this same attitude can be seen in debates here about how good Hamilton is. There’s a consistent “it’s just the car” and @he lives in Monaco so shouldn’t race under a UK flag” sentiment among some fans – but, oddly enough, none of those sentiments are overwhelmingly evident when it is a White world champion under discussion – even if the latter also lives in Monaco.
    Why can’t racists just keep their racism to themselves and their families?

    1. Well said. My only correction is this isn’t systemic racism. Those guys are all ignorant persons who probably lack the courage to express or impose their opinions on anyone outside their circle. I feel sorry for these ones. The ones in power who make the laws and political campaigns that strategically target groups in a society are the terrifying ones. The “War on drugs” in America is a good place to get an example.

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