Vettel echoes Hamilton’s calls in fight against racism

Sebastian Vettel has echoed Lewis Hamilton’s calls for Formula 1 to take action and fix its confused anti-racism message.

The demonstration at the Hungarian Grand Prix was poorly received by fans and leading drivers, with many late to the gesture and others unsure of when and how to kneel.

Hamilton has shot out at the few drivers who were late and those who would go as far as wearing an ‘End Racism’ T-shirt but not as far as to take a knee. Antonio Giovinazzi forgot to wear the T-shirt entirely.

Similar confusion was seen at the Styrian Grand Prix which coincided with TV producers cutting away from the gesture to a pre-recorded Red Bull sky diving stunt.

The six-time world champion has called on F1 and the FIA to do more in the fight against racism with the lack of organisation hampering the clarity and impact of the message.

Romain Grosjean has also been criticised by Hamilton for ‘not caring enough’ about the anti-racism efforts. Grosjean is one of three directors responsible for running the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association. He sits alongside Alex Wurz and Sebastian Vettel.

Vettel has echoed his rivals calls, agreeing that more has to be done:

“What you see is what the situation is,” Vettel said. “(On Sunday there) was very, very little time, everything was a bit rushed. I think drivers were just about to arrive.

“(There was time) to do whatever every driver individually decided to do, but in the end, they were starting (the national anthem).

“I think going forward, it’s probably true that we need to talk amongst ourselves a bit better, so hopefully we can sort it out.”

The GPDA holds a meeting every Friday where Vettel and Grosjean lead discussions regarding issues on the grid.

It has emerged that Grosjean has claimed in the GPDA briefing that drivers no longer needed to take a knee as the gesture has already been made once.

“We are all members of the GPDA and the GPDA is run by three people – two who are really supportive, and one who tends to think it is not important to continue with,” Hamilton said.

“I don’t think it’s being taken seriously. There are perhaps people who have not grown up around racism so don’t understand it and because of that it doesn’t affect them.

“I have heard people say ‘it doesn’t do anything for me so why should I do it?’ But it’s not about me and you, it’s about this fight for the people out there who are experiencing discrimination.”

In Hungary, Verstappen, Leclerc, Raikonnen and Sainz all stood for the third race in a row while Perez and Albon opted out of kneeling and instead remained standing.

Daniil Kvyat, Kevin Magnussen, Antonio Giovinazzi and Romain Grosjean all were late, missing the gesture altogether while the remainder of the grid took a knee in support of the fight against racism.