F1 has removed the mandate to take a knee before races, with the directive coming from the sport’s CEO.
F1 drivers like Lewis Hamilton have shown their solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement by kneeling ahead of every race for the past two seasons. It is to show their stand against racism.
Alongside Hamilton, some other drivers have also taken the initiative. The sport itself has a lot of inclusivity campaigns, with one of them called ‘We Race As One’.
However, the news has arrived that F1 has removed the mandate to take a knee before races, with the sport’s CEO himself explaining why the decision was made.
“The (knee) gesture was important for the ones that believed that was an important gesture, because we need to respect everyone,” F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali told Sky Sports, as quoted by the West Australian.
“But now is the time to move on and take some other action. The action is the focus on the diversity of our community, and this is the first step.”
Not everything disappears
However, F1 has announced that they would extend its funding commitment to the Formula One Engineering Scholarship programme for under-represented groups until 2025. Even though they are doing away with the knee gesture, they revealed that they would carry on screening an anti-racism message ahead of every race.
The sport also announced that the ‘We Race As One’ branding will also be visible during every race weekend.
Hamilton, who had remained silent regarding his future in the sport, will not be happy to see this. However, Domenicali assured full support for the driver.
“There was a total respect on his choice to be silent. I think his battery will be fully charged for the start of the season,” he said.
That is important because Lewis is an incredible asset not only for our sport but for the world.
“Lewis has in front of him a possibility to be an eight-time world champion. So I’m pretty sure he is totally focused on these objectives.”