Lewis Hamilton backs move for drivers to STOP taking the knee before each race – as new guidelines are agreed with F1 chief Stefano Domenicali to support ‘WeRaceAsOne’ initiative instead
- New guidelines mean drivers do not have to take a knee before each race
- Some drivers felt uncomfortable taking a knee for cultural or personal reasons
- Drivers will now be allowed to make their own gestures — or none at all
Formula One bosses have issued new guidelines that do not require drivers to take a knee before each race — a move backed by Sir Lewis Hamilton.
The seven-time world champion campaigned for the grid to make the symbolic anti-racism gesture unanimous last year, only for several drivers to remain standing.
That untidiness was addressed at a meeting between new F1 chief executive Stefano Domenicali and the drivers during pre-season testing, where a new approach was agreed.
Sir Lewis Hamilton campaigned for the grid to make the symbolic anti-racism gesture
New guidelines ahead of the 2021 season have said drivers are not required to take the knee
The teams have now been told that starting in Bahrain, where the first race of the season will be held on Sunday, drivers will be allowed to make their own gestures — or none — in support of the sport’s ‘WeRaceAsOne’ initiative.
Last season’s ‘End Racism’ slogan will be done away with as the sport seeks to broaden its diversity message.
An F1 insider has confirmed that drivers can kneel or stand or bow their heads as they stand collectively behind the ‘WeRaceAsOne’ banner.
Some drivers had felt uncomfortable taking a knee for cultural or personal reasons, though all wore ‘End Racism’ T-shirts, which are also being done away with for 2021.
Hamilton said: ‘I don’t think it’s the most important thing for everyone to kneel.
‘It’s what we do in the background that counts, making a positive change.
‘We will see how we can work together so the sport takes more of a lead.’
It is understood the Mercedes star wants to work with F1 in harness with the ‘Hamilton Commission’ he set up last year to see how opportunity can be extended to minority groups.
Some drivers had felt uncomfortable taking a knee for cultural or personal reasons last year