Seven F1 drivers stand instead of 'take the knee' at 70th Anniversary

Seven drivers – including Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc – stand during latest anti-racism protest before F1’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix as Lewis Hamilton wears BLM t-shirt while taking a knee

  • Seven F1 drivers again stood instead of ‘took the knee’ before Sunday’s race
  • The same drivers opted against kneeling at the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix
  • All drivers wore ‘End Racism’ t-shirts in pre-match ceremony to show solidarity 
  • ‘Take the knee’ has divided due to links with ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement 
  • F1 70th Anniversary Grand Prix LIVE 

Formula One’s attempts to show solidarity against racism continue to create division with the grid today as seven drivers elected to stand rather than ‘taking the knee’ in the pre-race ceremony of the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix — the same seven that stood last week.

Kevin Magnuessen joined ‘original six’ Max Verstappen, Kimi Raikkonen, Charles Leclerc, Antonio Giovinazzi, Carlos Sainz and Daniil Kvyat in deciding to stand during the ceremony of the British Grand Prix, and the same drivers did the same this week.

As they have done in the four previous races since the restart, all drivers wore ‘End Racism’ t-shirts, with world champion Lewis Hamilton wearing a unique ‘Black Lives Matter’ one.

Seven drivers elected to stand rather than ‘take the knee’ at the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix

All drivers wore ‘End Racism’ t-shirts, while Lewis Hamilton (BR) wore a ‘Black Lives Matter’ one

While all drivers have shown support in standing in solidarity in the fight to end racism, the gesture’s links to the Black Lives Matter has been a reason why those have decided to stand.

Haas driver Magnussen, who has previously knelt in the Black Lives Matter protest before the race, joined the original six at Silverstone by electing to stand at the British GP last week. 

Magnussen who previously took a knee in the previous races of the season explained how he was uncomfortable with the gesture’s link to the Black Lives Matter organisation

The division between the drivers who have stood and those who have knelt has quickly become a difficult issue for F1 chiefs to deal with, and they hit a fresh new low in the previous race at the Hungarian Grand Prix when a poorly organised pre-race ceremony to stand against racism led to some drivers arriving late or not at all.

Following that race, six-time world champion Hamilton called on F1 chiefs to do more in giving drivers a platform, while Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel has since criticised F1’s haphazard approach to the organisation of the event, insisting that the drivers feel let down by the shambles.

Lewis Hamilton (L) and Sebastian Vettel (R) have both previously called for F1 to do more in giving drivers a voice in the fight against racism after some uncomfortable showings

Formula One were previously criticised for their confusing display at the Hungarian Grand Prix

‘It should not be up to us drivers alone,’ Vettel said. ‘We are not organising the races, so I think it’s not just in our interest.’ 

The 70th anniversary Grand Prix race got underway on Sunday with Red Bull’s Verstappen claiming a thrilling victory, overcoming Hamilton who finished second and Valtteri Bottas in third.

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