Lewis Hamilton has demanded Ferrari take action in supporting Formula One’s anti-racist stance, saying he believes every team in F1 must be held accountable in promoting the fight against racism.
The 35-year-old, who is F1’s only black driver, gave the black power salute on the podium after winning the Styrian Grand Prix on Sunday and stated he believed his fight against racism would be a lifelong struggle. Mercedes have changed their livery from silver to black this season and both their drivers wear black race suits, while the team have instigated a diversity programme to address the make-up of their personnel.
However while the drivers have collectively worn “End Racism” T-shirts on the grid at the past two races, Hamilton was highly critical that their teams had not been more publicly proactive.
“No other team has said a single thing,” he said. “We’ve seen Red Bull’s mechanics take a knee, which is great. But publicly, as businesses and as teams, you look at Ferrari who have thousands of people working with them, I’ve heard no word from Ferrari saying they hold themselves accountable. We need the teams to do that. Everyone needs to pull together.”
Hamilton has been vocal in his support of the anti-racism and Black Lives Matter movements. He has established a commission in partnership with the Royal Academy of Engineering to investigate engaging young black people and encourage them into motor racing and engineering. He believes that a critical part of the struggle is publicly engaging with people.
“A lot of people don’t know what the problem is and some people deny there is a problem,” he said. “That is why I have put this commission together. Everyone has their opinion, but I really want to get to the bottom of it so when we put money towards something, we know it is going to change from the root cause.”
Elsewhere, Racing Point have issued a robust response to the protest against their car launched by Renault after the Styrian GP. Racing Point’s RP20 has been nicknamed “the pink Mercedes”, because of its design similarities to last year’s championship-winning car. The team admit they have followed the Mercedes design but had broken no regulations in doing so.
Renault protested about the car on Sunday night. The FIA judged the complaint admissible and is to investigate in the coming days. The protest centres on the brake ducts, components that are known as “listed parts” which must be designed by each individual team. The stewards have taken the brake ducts from the Racing Point RP20s used in Austria and requested Mercedes supply the same components from their 2019 car.
Racing Point issued a statement dismissing the protest. The team, it read, was: “Extremely disappointed to see its results in the Styrian Grand Prix questioned by what it considers to be a misconceived and poorly informed protest. Any and all suggestion of wrongdoing is firmly rejected and the team will take all steps necessary to ensure the correct application of the regulations to the facts.”