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Lewis Hamilton to F1 drivers: ‘If you are silent about racial injustice, you are an accomplice to racism’

Lewis Hamilton tells fellow Formula 1 drivers that if they remain silent about their opposition to racial injustice, they are ‘complicit’ in racism

  • F1 legend Lewis Hamilton will participate in the Austrian Grand Prix on Sunday
  • He warned his competitors that they are complicit in racism if they remain silent about it
  • Six-time champion Hamilton is the only black F1 driver in the history of the sport
  • Some F1 drivers are annoyed by Hamilton’s heavy-handed attitude to the subject

Lewis Hamilton has warned his fellow Formula 1 drivers that not making them complicit in racism is making them “complicit” in racism.

Speaking prior to today’s Austrian Grand Prix, the six-time world champion revealed that he had told fellow competitors that “silence is an accomplice.”

Hamilton, the only black driver in F1 history, recently reinforced his call for more diversity in the sport.

Formula 1 legend Lewis Hamilton (pictured left with supermodel Karolina Kurkova) warned his fellow drivers that they are complicit in racism if they don't speak out

Formula 1 legend Lewis Hamilton (pictured left with supermodel Karolina Kurkova) warned his fellow drivers that they are complicit in racism if they don’t speak out

While his fellow drivers agreed to wear T-shirts with the words ‘End Racism’ before today’s race, his words are likely to increase the pressure on them to master, an act that originated in the USA when American footballer Colin Kaepernick knelt during the national anthem in protest of police brutality and racism.

The topic was reportedly discussed at a virtual meeting of all 20 F1 drivers on Friday night, but they did not reach a unanimous conclusion.

Hamilton said, “I thank those who said something on their social media platforms for having a great voice.

“I encouraged those who shouldn’t say anything. I said silence is an accomplice. In some cases it is still quiet. ‘

Some drivers are said to be annoyed by Hamilton’s heavy-handed demeanor.

Carlos Sainz, a driver on the McLaren team, said, “Not everyone has decided what to do. You will see tomorrow. ‘

The teams will likely leave the drivers to form their own opinion, and the sport’s governing body, the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile, says it’s not their job to instruct them on what is essentially a political decision.

Hamilton (pictured) takes part in Sunday's Austrian Grand Prix, with a number of Formula 1 drivers breaking down whether to master the weekend competition

Hamilton (pictured) takes part in Sunday's Austrian Grand Prix, with a number of Formula 1 drivers breaking down whether to master the weekend competition

Hamilton (pictured) takes part in Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix, with a number of Formula 1 drivers breaking down whether to master the weekend competition

Critics of 35-year-old Hamilton have pointed out that Mercedes Benz, the team he drives for and pays him £ 40 million a year, used 40,000 slave workers in World War II.

Last month, Hamilton was involved in an argument with former F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone, who said in an interview with CNN that “in many cases black people are more racist than whites.”

Hamilton described the comments as “ignorant and unskilled.”

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