Led by Lewis Hamilton, 14 Formula 1 drivers take a knee before Austrian Grand Prix

Nick Bromberg
·2 min read
SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA - JULY 05: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP and some of the F1 drivers take a knee on the grid in support of the Black Lives Matter movement ahead of the Formula One Grand Prix of Austria at Red Bull Ring on July 05, 2020 in Spielberg, Austria. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
Lewis Hamilton (middle) and other Formula 1 drivers ahead of Sunday's race. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Nearly three-quarters of the Formula 1 grid took a knee ahead of the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix.

The 20 drivers all wore black shirts ahead of the race, many with shirts that said “end racism.” Defending F1 champ Lewis Hamilton wore a shirt that said “Black Lives Matter.” Hamilton is the only Black driver in Formula 1.

Hamilton and 13 others then took a knee before the race.

Hamilton has been incredibly outspoken about racial inequality in recent weeks and said he had been taking notice of those who were staying silent about social justice issues. Hamilton is a six-time Formula 1 champion — only Michael Schumacher has more titles — and has the biggest platform of any driver in the world.

Bubba Wallace, the only Black driver racing full-time in NASCAR, took note of Formula 1’s display of solidarity. Wallace wore a shirt that said “Black Lives Matter” ahead of NASCAR races in June.

Sunday’s Formula 1 race was the first of the 2020 season after the coronavirus pandemic stopped the season just before it was set to begin in Australia in March. The series is racing throughout Europe in a modified schedule through the first weekend of September with the rest of the season’s slate to be determined later this summer.

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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