Six-time F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton says he is disappointed with the way Formula One, current and former race drivers reacted to his continuous fight against racism.
Hamilton has been vocal in recent weeks, stepping up against racism and any kind of discriminations against black people. This movement, referred to as Black Lives Matter, has gained strengths since the death of American George Floyd in May. Formula One has reacted quickly by launching a fantastic campaign, titled WeRaceAsOne. Using its power and global presence, the sport wants to promote diversity, showing that gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and physical abilities can not play any negative role in modern world.
The FIA has also launched a separate campaign, titled PurposeDriven with which the governing body wants to achieve a positive contribution to society in all sectors, including health, safety, economy, the environment, education, inclusion and diversity. The safety car and the medical car now also feature the rainbow colours that have become the signals of the two campaigns.
Despite Formula One’s and FIA’s movements, Hamilton thinks that it is still not enough and the sport has to gear up to achieve greater success.
"I think, moving forwards, we need to speak with Formula 1. They've got to do a better job. It was such a rush. Us getting out of the car, running over, quickly taking a knee... they need to do more.
"I don't know why they've only done it for the first race, at the start. They've not done it since then. They've come out saying they're going to be fighting for diversity and to end racism, but they're not giving us the platform to continue that. It's all rushed.
The 35-year-old has also hit out at the behaviour of his rival Romain Grosjean after the Swiss-born Frenchman only took a knee once.
"[Grosjean] doesn't think it's important to do it," Hamilton told Sky Sports F1. "[Grosjean is] one of them that thinks that it was done once and that's all we need to do. I tried to speak to [Grosjean] about what the problem is and it's not going away.
"We have to continue to fight for it. I think this time [Grosjean] didn't mention anything in the drivers' briefing and neither did [F1 driver and GPDA director] Sebastian [Vettel]. Sebastian and I message each other and he stressed, as did I, the importance that we continue to do it.
Hamilton’s powerful call to promote diversity and fight against racism has not gone unnoticed among former Formula One drivers. Three-time F1 world champion Sir Jackie Stewart said on Good Morning Britain last week that there is no major issue with racism in Formula One.
"I think Lewis has been a great example to lots of people. He's quite vocal about these elements, I don't think there's as big a problem as there might seem. There is no resistance for change if someone is clever and good at what they do. They will be accepted in Formula 1."
Hamilton reacted to the words of the former Scottish drivers by writing on his Instagram account: „Again, another one. Just disappointing."
Hamilton blasted Mario Andretti too after the 1978 F1 champion was quoted as saying Chilean newspaper El Mercurio that the issue is not as severe as the reigning champion claims.
"I have a lot of respect for Lewis, but why become a militant? He's always been accepted, and he's earned everyone's respect. I think the whole point of this is pretentious. I feel that way. And it's creating a problem that doesn't exist."
In another Instagram post, Hamilton reacted to the Italian-born American: "This is disappointing but unfortunately a reality that some of the older generation who still have a voice today cannot get out of their own way and acknowledge there is a problem.
"Again, this is plain ignorance but that will not stop me from continuing to push for change. It is never too late to learn and I hope that this man who I've always had respect for can take the time to educate himself,” Hamilton said.