F1 drivers take a knee, Red Bull Ring, 2020

FIA confirms official plans for pre-race ‘End Racism Recognition’

2020 British Grand Prix

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The FIA has issued plans for an official pre-race ‘End Racism Recognition’ following criticism over how the ceremony was conducted at the previous race in Hungary.

Among the guidelines, the FIA has stated drivers can “choose their gesture of support”, which may include taking a knee, as many have previously done.

An ‘end racism’ banner will be placed across the circuit and drivers will be given an audible signal to proceed to it shortly after 13:52 local time before the start of the race. While this happens, video of “driver pledges” will be shown on the international television feed.

This will be followed by an announcement at the circuit that “Formula 1 and the FIA will take this moment, in recognition of the importance of equality and equal opportunity for all.” Drivers will then be invited to make a gesture of support.

The gestures of support suggested by the FIA include “taking the knee”, “standing on carpet with arms crossed in front or behind them”, “standing on carpet and bow[ing] head”, “standing on carpet and pointing to the words ‘end racism’ on their t-shirts”, “standing on carpet and place their hand on the heart” or “anything else a driver may feel comfortable to do”.

This will be followed by a further announcement: “Thank you for this statement of support to end racism in the world.”

This will be followed by the national anthem ceremony and, at this weekend’s race, a flyover of Spitfire aircraft signalling thanks to Britain’s National Health Service.

In a note to drivers, FIA F1 race director Michael Masi said: “I hope the above is clear and provides some clarity and reassurance to the drivers.

“The FIA, F1 and F1 teams communication directors will continue to manage the media expectations on how this gesture will be marked, and that each driver is united in the call to end racism and will choose their own gesture at the determined time to mark this.”

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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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23 comments on “FIA confirms official plans for pre-race ‘End Racism Recognition’”

  1. If it’s not spontaneous, it’s meaningless.

    1. John Toad (@)
      1st August 2020, 19:34

      A meaningless slogan and an empty gesture

    2. GtisBetter (@)
      1st August 2020, 20:33

      That statement makes no sense. How are spontaneity and meaning correlated?

    3. @jt1234 That’s a strange perspective. Do you think it was spontaneous when Colin Kaepernick first took a knee during the anthem? I doubt it – he probably thought about it and planned it for a while before he did it. Spontaneity means not thinking about it ahead of time, which seems I’ll advised when making a statement about a serious and sensitive issue.

    4. Not meaningless; but the it becomes less powerfull IMO if not spontaneous.
      FIA could have left it at a dedicated time, a banner and 20 optional t-shirts.

    5. A self-disproving sentence?

  2. This is a good decision. Thank you FIA and Lewis Hamilton for making this a serious activity and not just a casual act. I am a white person, but I firmly believe in Equality! I hope people around the world will start appreciate Equality more and more and more.

  3. So ridiculuous ‘taking a knee’ when it’s a stand against systematic government racism as if drivers from all over are on the page that this goes for every country hosting a race. To have it condoned by F1 is just bizarre.

    This things needs to end. You’ve all pretended you are Americans which obviously is an itch that needs to be scratched for many, but it’s nevertheless meaningless and embarrassing for adults to engage in this type of childish behavior. If you’re really serious about countering racism and not just score social media points, speak up or do something about real racism like the slave markets, ethnic cleansing, apartheid states or colonial wars or coups.

  4. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
    1st August 2020, 21:05

    Yet people still claim one is racist for not taking a knee. You can claim all you like that people are ‘allowed’ to take different approaches, but the public will make up their own mind anyway. Just browse through all the thousands of angry posts/twets when a handful of drivers didn’t take a knee in Austria. That showed you’ll never be able to please the majority of people that care about the subject, so why bother doing it at all?

    You can already see Lewis try to push it down the throats of drivers, even though he said he wouldn’t. Started of with ‘I have not asked drivers to take a knee’, one week later he did just that. One week after that, he names and shames those that didn’t and, once again, does a passive-agressive ‘I sure hope they all do it by the end of the season’.

    1. That is complete nonsense @barryfromdownunder. I have seen not a single voice on here claiming that anyone is racist just because they do not “take a knee”, not in the past, and not now.

      1. ‘On here’ is not the only place f1 fans comment about these issues OP mentioned Twitter (misspelled tweets as twets) as just one of many

  5. I think it’s great they are making an effort to support equality and human rights for all. Now let’s keep going. Take a step further and don’t race in China until they end their oppression on Hong Kong. Stop going to Abu Dhabi, a track that was built by slaves. Don’t go to Brazil until their government treats all citizens correctly. Bahrain doesn’t exactly have a great human rights record either. Until they decide to take hard stands against suffering towards their business partners I will continue to view this for what it is, marketing.

  6. I’m glad they have sorted this as it has been a mess the last few weeks, and it doesn’t look good for F1.

    Even if some drivers don’t take a knee, the point of it is to keep the topic at the centre of F1. It will hopefully be the setup of the new panel where a difference can happen going forward, because diversity in Formula 1 (be it ethnic minorities or female drivers/engineers) is simply not good enough at the moment

  7. Gee, can’t wait to miss it

    1. Yes, but don’t forget to come on here tomorrow to tell us you missed it. I missed the anthem last race, but I think I got away with it. No one on here picked me up on it thank god.

  8. Maybe if Liberty and a few major sponsors started a ‘future stars’ type of program spanning Asia, India, the Americas e.t.c. It would not be a program where the wealthy could buy their way in, it would be a one make series starting at the go cart level. Kids would be invited to participate just like trying out for rugby.
    They could be taught the basics by trainer drivers the safety gear would be supplied initially with ongoing support for those from low income families, their would be no prize money. It would also be the perfect place to allow girls to start at the same time with the same support as the boys.

  9. Mark in Florida
    2nd August 2020, 3:37

    Yawn… another non news story about useless virtue signalling. Get to racing.

  10. roberto giacometti
    2nd August 2020, 4:41

    Oh gosh gee. Will this make little baby lewis happy now ?
    For crying out loud – this topic has become totally tiresome now.
    What next , we’ll get all the drivers to roll over on their backs so someone can scratch their tummy’s?
    Or will will someone throw a ball and they can go fetch ??
    These are adult sporting professionals – not school kids rocking up to assembly in the morning!
    If lewis wants to play at being Martin Luther King, then kindly relieve us all of this forced political schlep and retire , and go do his thing in the appropriate arena.
    This is not it. !!
    PS – when I see photos of the NBA basketball teams , I do not see a lot of equality there (spot the white face), and yet there are no such qualms. There are a lot of multi millionaire black basketball players earning the big big bucks – how about giving the white guys a fair go ??

    1. abananasplitz
      2nd August 2020, 11:25

      fair point tbh, if the finger pointing is allowed one way it should be the other way too.

      also i feel extremely discriminated for not being allowed to play basketball as a 2foot3inch white pygme who cant even hold a ball, but I should be allowed to play in the nba becasue DIVERSETY!

  11. Can someone please explain how having professionals working in F1 is actually racist? How is a sport that is based in Caucasian Europe having predominantly white people working for it racist? Its statistics more than anything else.

    It seems like what’s being said is that if you are not black or in a minority, your racist. Regardless of whether you say you are or not, whether you mean to be or not, or whether you actually act in a racist way. Simply because you have mainstream privilege ie your white and live in a predominantly white population. And it doesn’t matter, because if I’m black or in a minority ethic group, I know your racist based on your mainstream ethnicity, despite what you say or do to the contrary.

    How does this actually end the problem of racism? Racism is based on an ethnic group judging another ethnic group. From what I can see, the BLM makes the same mistake that it accuses others of making by judging others on ethnic divides. I just dont get it. Its bound to end in the same dark place that other ideas based on the same idea have ended.

    Is not the family of humanity based on shared humanness, on common ground? Can we see the value of the human being and look past skin colour? Please?

  12. RocketTankski
    2nd August 2020, 7:55

    Racism: Exists
    FIA: I’m about to end this man’s whole career!


    I think that’s how the young people fix things these days? Should be all better now hopefully. /s

  13. Sergey Martyn
    2nd August 2020, 9:36

    Please remind me were there taking a knee, end racism shirts, silver arrows painted black etc. last year, a year before, a decade before and especially when there was F1 GP at Kyalami from 1966 to 1984 (let me remind you that Mandela spent 27 years in jail from 1962 to 1990). So all of sudden racism appeared in 2020?

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