F1 drivers break silence after Hamilton criticism

Mark Scott
Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton PA

Charles Leclerc and Daniel Ricciardo were amongst the first voices to speak out after Lewis Hamilton criticised Formula 1’s silence over racial injustice.

The death of George Floyd has sparked worldwide protests and several stars from other sports used their platform to demand justice, but Hamilton took to social media to express his anger that nobody from Formula 1 had used their voice to speak out and spread awareness.

“I see those of you who are staying silent, some of you the biggest of stars yet you stay silent in the midst of injustice,” Hamilton wrote on Instagram.

“Not a sign from anybody in my industry which of course is a white-dominated sport. I’m one of the only people of colour there yet I stand alone.

“I would have thought by now you would see why this happens and say something about it but you can’t stand alongside us. Just know I know who you are and I see you.”

Hamilton continued: “I do not stand with those looting and burning buildings but those who are protesting peacefully. There can be no peace until our so called leaders make change.”

But, in the wake of Hamilton’s comments, other Formula 1 drivers have now stood alongside the six-time World Champion.

Charles Leclerc said: “To be completely honest, I felt out of place and uncomfortable sharing my thoughts on social media about the whole situation and this is why I haven’t express myself earlier than today. And I was completely wrong.

I still struggle to find the words to describe the atrocity of some videos I’ve seen on the internet. Racism needs to be met with actions, not silence.

“Please be actively participating, engaging and encouraging others to spread awareness. It is our responsibilities to speak out against injustice. Don’t remain silent. I stand #BlackLivesMatters.”

Daniel Ricciardo added: “Seeing the news the last few days has left me saddened, what happened to George Floyd and what continues to happen in today’s society is a disgrace.

“Now more than ever we need to stand together, unified together. Racism is toxic and needs to be addressed not with violence or silence but with unity and action. We need to stand up, we need to be a WE.

“Let’s be better people. It’s 2020 ffs. Black lives matter.”

The likes of Lando Norris, Sergio Perez and Nicholas Latifi have also condemned the recent events and pledged their support, too.