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Hamilton hopes to unite F1 grid on taking the knee

LEWIS HAMILTON said he has spoken to some of the F1 drivers who have not taken a knee this season in a bid to unite the grid on the issue.

Just 11 of the 20 drivers joined Hamilton in performing the anti-racist gesture before Sunday’s Styrian Grand Prix.

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen are among those who have elected to stand before the opening two grands prix.

“We had the drivers’ briefing on Friday, and afterwards we all stayed on and debated whether to take a knee again,” said Hamilton, who claimed his first victory of the season with a dominant performance in Spielberg. “I said I am going to continue to do it.

“After the Zoom call, I tried to spend one-on-one time with a few of those who had chosen to stand, and to have a chat with them.

“Some of the drivers maybe don’t fully understand how impactful their voices can be to people. Some of them don’t want to support Black Lives Matter but they stand for anti-racism, which is the same thing.

“I have made it clear that I am not supporting the political side but the human rights side of things.

“From the drivers’ point of view we are going to come closer through this. I am not saying that everyone is going to take a knee. But over time as we get to talk about it more often I would like to think we will all be together in the understanding of it.”

Hamilton performed a Black Power salute on top of his Mercedes and again on the podium following his triumph on Sunday.

“What I can say is that this is not it. Us taking a knee and having a black car doesn’t solve the problem, it raises awareness but we have got a whole season, a whole year and in my mind we have got a constant fight that we all have to do,” Hamilton said.

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