Lewis Hamilton has called on other Formula 1 teams and businesses to take a greater stance against racism, believing the sport needs to lead by example.
Hamilton has been vocal on the push for greater equality and diversity, creating his own Commission last month, while his Mercedes team altered its Formula 1 race livery, as well as forming a diversity and inclusion programme within its organisation.
Formula 1 has also founded a diversity scheme, with Chase Carey and the FIA pledging seven-figure sums, while its #WeRaceAsOne initiative and End Racism signage were prominent in Austria.
“I think ultimately Formula 1, yes they’ve taken a step forward, but there’s absolutely more they can do,” said Hamilton after winning the Styrian Grand Prix.
“I think the governing body also, who set the rules, who dictate the many ways what these teams do, I asked on a call we had on Zoom I said ‘look at the moment F1 has come forward and said they’re supporting end racism’ and it’s amazing to see Mercedes doing the same thing but no other team has said a single thing.
“We’ve seen Red Bull mechanics take a knee, which is great, but publicly as businesses and as teams if you look at Ferrari who have thousands of people working with them I’ve heard no word of Ferrari saying that they hold themselves accountable and this is what they’re going to do for their future.
“We need the teams to do that and we need Formula 1 and the FIA to be more leading in those scenarios, saying, ‘hey guys, all of us together, everyone needs to pull together and fight for this so we can improve’.
“I think a lot of people don’t know what the problem is. Some people deny there is a problem.
“That’s why I’ve put this Commission together because everyone has their opinion but I really want to get to the bottom of [it] so when we’re putting money into something we know it’s going to change it from the root cause and that’s the goal.”
Hamilton went on to reiterate that he is “not supporting the political side of things” regarding the association with the Black Lives Matter movement, but stressed that Formula 1 cannot simply make a statement and move on.
“What we do moving forwards, I really don’t know,” he said.
“I am learning just all of you are, but what I can say is, this is not it. Us taking a knee at the start of the race and having a black car, that doesn’t solve the problem.
“It helps continue raise awareness of it. We have a whole season for it. A whole year and in my mind, this is a constant fight we all have to do, including you guys [the media], we can all chip in and do our part and our job and have a positive impact in our environments.”