Hamilton to discuss ‘kneeling’ in Bahrain

(GMM) Lewis Hamilton says he isn’t sure if the pre-race ‘kneeling’ routine will continue in 2021.

Amid the US unrest last year in the wake of George Floyd’s death, Hamilton pushed for Mercedes to switch to a black livery and began kneeling before races in deference to the Black Lives Matter movement.

12 of his fellow drivers followed suit, although seven – notably Kimi Raikkonen, Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz – continued to stand for the national anthems.

Formula 1 announced recently that the rainbow signage, and possibly the ‘End Racism’ messaging, will be replaced by a new social campaign for 2021.

“No more drivers kneeling before the start?” Italy’s La Gazzetta dello Sport wondered last month.

When asked about kneeling in 2021, seven time world champion Hamilton said on Tuesday: “Everyone must be able to make their own decision about it.

“It’s a symbolic gesture,” he is quoted by De Telegraaf. “At times it can have a lot of impact.

“We haven’t decided yet whether we will do it this year, but I expect that we will discuss it with Stefano (Domenicali) in Bahrain.”

Hamilton said pushing on with his activist campaigns is more important to him than a potential record eighth world title this year.

“Kneeling is not the most important thing anyway,” said the 36-year-old Briton. “The point is that actual action is taken.

“We will see how we can work together, how we can do even more as a sport so that it is no longer necessary to kneel.”