Six of Formula 1’s 20 drivers opted not to take a knee in a gesture to support ending racism at the Austrian Grand Prix on Sunday.
While all donned black t-shirts with messages of support against racism, Max Verstappen, Antonio Giovinazzi, Daniil Kvyat, Carlos Sainz, Charles Leclerc and Kimi Raikkonen opted not to kneel prior to the playing of the Austrian national anthem.
The difference in gestures followed a discussion in the driver’s briefing on Friday, in which it was agreed that the decision to kneel or not would be at each driver’s discretion.
The gesture of ‘taking a knee’, which was introduced by NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick several years ago, has been closely tied to the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement, which itself has only gained in prominence in recent months.
Six-time F1 champ Lewis Hamilton, who donned a ‘BLM’ shirt on the grid, has been a vocal proponent of the movement and had led the initial calls for a display of support before the season-opening race.