Lewis Hamilton will continue to fight for racial equality – despite failing to get universal support from his F1 rivals.
The world champion took a knee and wore a Black Lives Matter T-shirt ahead of the Austrian GP.
He was joined by 14 others, yet six drivers on the grid remained standing.
But Hamilton hit back at claims he was trying to force the movement on his fellow drivers – saying he never put pressure on them to follow his example.
Hamilton, who has used his social media to push for increased diversity and an end to racism, said: “It is great that Formula One and Mercedes have taken note of the issues we are facing across the world and decided to do something about it.
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“Ultimately, we all need to do more. There has been awareness for a few weeks and what we don’t need is for it to die a silent death and disappear and see no change.
“I could be the guinea pig. I have to keep speaking out and going back to it, all of us, myself included, have to look at accountability and do more.
“I am aware of some opinions of some drivers but ultimately nobody should be forced into a scenario where they have to kneel.
“I never requested or demanded anybody to take the knee. I never brought it up.
“It was brought up by Formula One and the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association.
“I let everyone have their say and then I opened up to them and said ‘guys, I will be doing it but you do what you think is right’.
“I am really grateful to those who did kneel along with me. It is still a powerful message but ultimately whether you did or didn’t kneel, it is not going to change the world.
“It is a much bigger issue across the world but for me personally, everyone had their own personal choice.”
Six drivers chose not to kneel in total, Max Verstappen, Charles Leclerc (both of whom stated they would not on social media beforehand), Daniil Kvyat, Kimi Rakkonen, Antonio Giovinazzi and Carlos Sainz.
This caused lots of backlash on social media with many saying it was a “bad look” for the sport.
Daniel Ricciardo did kneel with the 13 other drivers but explained why so many of his rivals may not have felt comfortable joining him, concerned about what it would look like doing so in their own countries and cultures.
“The chat [on Friday] with the drivers was essentially saying all of us are 100% on board with supporting it and ending racism. None of us our anti this, so we all support this,” Ricciardo said.
“I just think there was a little bit of difficulty with some drivers and their nationality, and what something like taking a knee would represent.
“Obviously the reasons why we would do it is purely to support Black Lives Matter. It is for nothing political or anything else.
“But there is a little bit of a fine line with some drivers and their nationalities and how it is perceived.
“We heard all of them, all their opinions, and we are not going to try to put anyone in jeopardy. We all understood that we will do what we feel comfortable with.
“But no one is going to be judged or criticised if they don’t stand there in a certain way or take a knee.”
This article was originally published by The Sun and reproduced with permission.