F1 drivers free to take a knee on 2021 race grids

Formula 1 drivers will remain free to take a knee before the start of races this year, with the series' chiefs revising ceremonies before the start of each grand prix.

F1 drivers free to take a knee on 2021 race grids
Listen to this article

Last year, F1 drivers were given a platform to display their anti-racism stance with a special time set apart during the moments on the grid before the start.

But the gesture of taking a knee divided opinion among drivers, with not all opting for it.

While Lewis Hamilton led the charge, six of the 20 drivers - Charles Leclerc, Carlos Sainz, Max Verstappen, Daniil Kvyat, Antonio Giovinazzi and Kimi Raikkonen – did not take a knee despite supporting the campaign.

The issue of whether or not to continue the moment was discussed between drivers and F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali at a meeting during Bahrain testing and a new plan has been agreed.

With F1 eager to tweak the approach to its ‘We Race as One’ messaging this year, with the iconic rainbow having been dropped, it will be altering what is done on the grid.

While a set time will be set aside for such a ceremony, F1 wants to use that to show a united support for a host of important issues where it feels awareness needs to be raised – such as sustainability, diversity and inclusion.

From the Bahrain Grand Prix, drivers will again assemble together on the grid, but it will be done collectively as a show of support for ‘We Race as One’.

The drivers will be left completely free to choose any gesture they want during this period, so those wishing to continue taking the knee can continue to do so.

An F1 spokesman said: “The whole of Formula 1 is united in its support for #WeRaceAsOne and the drivers will all show their own support for the initiative ahead of the grand prix.

“The drivers will be free to show their commitment in their own way before the race and there will be no requirement for them to make a specific gesture.

"The important thing is all of them being together in full support of our initiatives on sustainability, diversity and inclusion and community.”

Hamilton said earlier this year that he felt that 2021 offered an opportunity for more action to be taken to improve the key issues at stake – rather than the focus being on specific gestures.

“I don’t think it is the most important thing that everyone does take the knee,” he said.

“I think it is more the action that we take in the background.

“Things pass and things die down. It is important that it continues to be an issue that affects my day to day life and so many people out there.”

shares
comments

Related video

Why F1's new driver-team combos each have a point to prove
Previous article

Why F1's new driver-team combos each have a point to prove

Next article

How F1's tech restrictions could shake up the 2021 order

How F1's tech restrictions could shake up the 2021 order
Load comments
The underdog F1 squad that thrust Senna into the limelight Prime

The underdog F1 squad that thrust Senna into the limelight

The Toleman TG184 was the car that could, according to legend, have given Ayrton Senna his first F1 win but for Alain Prost and Jacky Ickx at Monaco in 1984. That could be stretching the boundaries of the truth a little, but as STUART CODLING explains, the team's greatest legacy was in giving the Brazilian prodigy passed over by bigger outfits an opportunity

Why Aston Martin is unlikely to repeat Jaguar’s F1 mistakes Prime

Why Aston Martin is unlikely to repeat Jaguar’s F1 mistakes

Two famous manufacturer teams born out of humble midfield origins, splashing the cash while attempting to rise to the top of F1 in record time. There are clear parallels between Lawrence Stroll’s Aston Martin and the doomed Jaguar Racing project of 22 years ago, but Mark Gallagher believes struggling Aston can avoid a similar fate.

Formula 1
May 15, 2022
How rejuvenated Haas recovered its F1 mojo Prime

How rejuvenated Haas recovered its F1 mojo

US-owned but until recently Russian-backed, Haas seems to have reached a turning point in car performance after three gruesome seasons. And it needs to if it’s to attract fresh investment. Team boss Gunther Steiner tells Oleg Karpov how close Haas came to the abyss.

Formula 1
May 14, 2022
How F1 race leaders have now lost their comfort blanket Prime

How F1 race leaders have now lost their comfort blanket

As Formula 1 teams have settled down in understanding the new generation of cars and the way they need to maximise their performance, fresh lessons have emerged. Jonathan Noble investigates how they have brought with them an all-new kind of grand prix racing

Formula 1
May 12, 2022
Gilles Villeneuve's 10 greatest F1 drives Prime

Gilles Villeneuve's 10 greatest F1 drives

Formula 1 lost one of its brightest stars when Gilles Villeneuve was killed during practice for the 1982 Belgian Grand Prix. Forty years on, Motorsport.com picks out the greatest drives by a Ferrari legend

Formula 1
May 11, 2022
The silver lining of Ferrari’s Miami GP defeat Prime

The silver lining of Ferrari’s Miami GP defeat

OPINION: Much was made of Formula 1’s first Miami Grand Prix – what turned out to be a very ‘marmite’ event for both those in attendance and everyone following on TV. But even as the on-track battle between Red Bull and Ferrari it produced continued the negative run of results for the red team, it contained a glimmer it must hope continues to shine

Formula 1
May 11, 2022
How imperfect Miami offered F1's drivers a unique challenge Prime

How imperfect Miami offered F1's drivers a unique challenge

OPINION: Despite all of the stylistic embellishments festooning Formula 1's inaugural Miami Grand Prix, the Miami International Autodrome offered the drivers a unique challenge and punished driver errors; a stark contrast to the usual cast of modern-day circuits

Formula 1
May 10, 2022
Why F1’s turbulent relationship with Russia is nothing new Prime

Why F1’s turbulent relationship with Russia is nothing new

Russia’s involvement in Formula 1 has been big on promise but short on delivery – then reached the end of the road prematurely. MARK GALLAGHER investigates why

Formula 1
May 10, 2022