Mercedes personnel, Red Bull Ring, 2020

Drivers and F1 team members ‘take a knee’ ahead of Styrian GP

2020 Styrian Grand Prix

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Formula 1 drivers and team members continued their pre-race gesture of support for anti-racism campaigners ahead of the Styrian Grand Prix.

A group of at least 15 drivers wore T-shirts bearing the words ‘end racism’ and, in Lewis Hamilton’s case ‘Black Lives Matter’. Most of these also ‘took a knee’, the sign of support for those campaigning against racism which was made famous by American football player Colin Kaepernick four years ago.

Not all drivers were shown participating in the pre-race sign of support for the campaign. However footage of the drivers kneeling was only shown briefly on the world feed produced by Formula 1. The director then cut away to video of skydivers above the Red Bull Ring, in what was evidently pre-recorded footage as the starting grid appeared empty.

However many other team members at the track also chose to ‘take a knee’, including several Mercedes personnel.

“I was told just before the session that we were going to do it,” Hamilton told Sky. “It’s not something that I asked for them to do.

“I think it’s a beautiful thing. It doesn’t take a lot to do something like that and it’s not changing the world. But perhaps shifting perceptions and shifting ideas, we’ll just keep going.”

Hamilton won the race and was joined on the rostrum by Petronas trackside engineer Stephanie Travers, who is believed to be the first black woman to stand on a Formula 1 podium.

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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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21 comments on “Drivers and F1 team members ‘take a knee’ ahead of Styrian GP”

  1. The cut away annoyed me immensely.

    1. I wonder who decided that. Obviously a pre-meditated cut. Political pressure from somewhere?

    2. It was a strange cutaway, but I think it was done because in particular the red bull planes and wingsuit divers were a pretty phenomenal spectacle…..it’s not like they cutaway to a scene of some cows in a pasture.

      1. As Sky said, that element was prerecorded. You could see the grid was empty for example. And as main broadcaster they knew nothing about the cutaway beforehand. Sky are a multinational major supporter of BLM; carrying the banner and regularly showing clips on the issue. They were clearly not happy about it, and Lazenby distanced themselves from whoever decided on the cut.

  2. stupid font, i reads like 2nd racism

    colin was kneeling against police brutality.
    can we stop wasting time on this cringey judging who is the most virtuous?
    so many issues in the world.let them promote one each weekend. and kneeling is personal, before a deity, royalty or a fiancee. or for a team photo.
    respect to those who express worries for the cause, but that is personal. do not force someone to kneel.

  3. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
    12th July 2020, 17:16

    It’s time for people to get up off the floor.

    1. Yes, I much preferred Hamilton’s black power salute.

      1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
        12th July 2020, 20:06

        It’s all meaningless fluff.

        1. Just because you say it’s meaningless, does not make it so. If I deem your life meaningless, am I correct? So why do you presume to confer your emotions to an act which is obviously not meaningless to others? Perhaps because you are a strange one.

          1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
            13th July 2020, 9:19

            I’m not bothered in the slightest @medman. Gestures and words are fluff, it’s time for action, initiatives, incentives and meaningful schemes. Get up off the floor and work towards something meaningful. Your t-shirts achieve nothing.

  4. digitalrurouni
    12th July 2020, 17:29

    I don’t care if they’re kneeling or standing or black power salutes. I’m fully for these atrocities committed against a certain section of the population to stop. I admire these gestures. Seems to me people get triggered too easily

    1. Agreed. Although sadly 90% of black deaths in the US are caused by other black people, but those death don’t matter apparently.

      1. Apparently you like repeating the same thing over and over again. Apparently you think the world outside of of the US doesn’t exist. Apparently you have no clue of what matters to others.

        1. Shut up you hippocrate. You are utterly clueless about the world and facts.

          1. Bad spelling, eh?

      2. @geo
        Another internet mope who parrots back long refuted “statistics” while ignoring the issue at hand. Typical for his kind. Ignorance is their main weapon, and they utilize it the only way the uneducated know how, with impunity. It would be risible, were it not so pathetic. Pity the poor schmuck.

  5. Millionaires taking a knee for something they don’t support or know anything about. How pathetic. They should be shot for their hippocracy.

    1. Brogan (@brogan-fraser)
      13th July 2020, 7:09

      That is a terrible way to think, who cares how much money they have…Whether you have $50million in the bank or $50..it doesn’t matter. What is important, and what they do have, is a platform to show their support, a platform from which hundreds of millions of people around the world will see the gesture, the support. You’ve got kids who look up to these guys.

      1. Indeed, even if it’s “virtue signalling” then a) it’s great as it keeps the issue in the collective consciousness which is a good thing (in my opinion) and b) it doesn’t harm anyone even if it might annoy some.

        Yeah, if it’s “virtue signalling” then some people are getting some PR benefits but the message is getting out there, piggybacking on the F1 platform and that can’t be bad surely? Yes, in this case there would be some hypocrisy but I think that it’s worth it to get the issue to the forefront of people’s minds to help combat unconscious bias.

        If it’s not “virtue signalling”, if the drivers and teams truly believe in this cause, then it’s great that they feel that they can voice their concern externally as well as making changes internally (although we’ll see about that).

        tl;dr; At it’s worst, it’s harmless virtue signalling/PR and a bit annoying but in a good cause. At it’s best it’s a good cause. I don’t get the problem.

        1. the problem is that is not only that, it is not only ‘just take a knee’, just state the obvious, it is that you are being criticized and maybe punished, canceled if you do not fully comply to some arbitrary standards of woke purity.
          Maybe Mercedes Petronas should check the issues with races and minorities in Malaysia and start with that

  6. I like the fact that many are articulating the human rights message

    End Racism

    rather than wading in a less informed fashion into the politics of

    BLM

    .

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