*After making a statement on the track of Formula One’s Styrian Grand Prix on Sunday with a dominating win, Lewis Hamilton upped it with a statement at the podium, where the Mercedes driver raised his fist in the black power salute.
The gesture, he said afterward, signaled his commitment to fighting racism. Hamilton is the lone black driver in F1 and has spoken out about his support for the Black Lives Matter movement since the killing of George Floyd. This is the first time the world champ has given the black power salute to cement a victory, and Hamilton insists his stance is vital in prompting change.
“Racism is going to be here for longer than our time here,” Hamilton said after the race. “People of color who are subject to racism don’t have time. We have to commit to push for equality and continue to raise awareness. “A lot of work needs to go on in F1, the FIA need to be part of it, the drivers need to be a part of it. We are going to be fighting and pushing for it all year. For me this is going to be a lifelong thing.”
Here’s what he said in its entirety when asked about his black power salute (beginning at the 12:23 mark).
Hamilton was part of the pre-race demonstration against racism, where numerous drivers wore “End Racism” and “Black Lives Matter” T-shirts, and took a knee on the grid in support of the movement. However, social media took note when F1 — the controller of the cameras, not broadcaster SkySports — chose to cut away from the kneeling drivers and focusing on Red Bull skydivers falling out of the sky.
Just catching up on how the F1 world feed handled the pre-race demonstrations against racism by drivers and … cutting to Red Bull skydivers in the middle of it ain’t great. pic.twitter.com/zvNIMHGvB7
— Nick Bromberg (@NickBromberg) July 12, 2020