Lewis Hamilton has been at the forefront of Formula 1’s initiatives to support Black Lives Matter and anti-racism campaigns, so it was very strange to see him absent from the pre-race display at Monza.
Hamilton has repeatedly tried to talk his fellow drivers into following his lead on ‘taking a knee’.
From the British Grand Prix he persuaded the FIA to add extra time to formally incorporate the demonstration into the Grand Prix build-up in 2020 alongside the national anthem.
But in Monza on Sunday, Hamilton was not among the drivers present in time for the display of support for anti-racism around the globe.
- Hamilton not giving up on convincing all drivers to take a knee
“Just timing,” he explained afterwards when asked why he hadn’t been present. “My garage is the furthest away. I took the scooter back, and just basically ran out of time.
“I thought I left to come back in time,” he told the media. “Usually I’m guided of when to leave.
“I left when I was told to leave the garage, to come back, but by the time I came back, everyone had already taken the knee,” he sighed. Definitely missed it, but it’s not the end of the world.
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“I got to see that my team continued to take the knee, which is great. We’ll just try and do better with timing next time.
“Perhaps I won’t go all the way back to my garage when it’s that far away,” he suggested. “In the past there is usually another toilet somewhere closer.”
Hamilton did get there in time for the singing of the Italian national anthem, for which he wore his usual ‘Black Lives Matter’ T-shirt as he has been doing at previous races.
He was not the only driver to miss the moment, with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel also failing to make it in time leaving a conspicuous gap at the front of the line-up.
He has been one of the most consistent supporters of Hamilton’s campaign for drivers to take a knee in 2020.
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