World Champion Lewis Hamilton says recent demonstrations are a “human rights issue”, rather than politically motivated, but expects the FIA to introduce new rules to clarify the situation.
Formula 1 has carried out anti-racism protests ahead of each grand prix this year, with Hamilton among the majority of drivers to have taken the knee.
At the most recent round, held at Mugello in Italy, Hamilton donned a T-shirt that read ‘Arrest The Cops Who Killed Breonna Taylor’ both on the grid and during the podium ceremony, having claimed victory in the race.
Taylor, a 26-year-old hospital worker, was shot eight times when three police officers stormed her home in Kentucky during a no-knock investigation in March.
On Wednesday a grand jury in the state indicted one of the three officers involved on the charge of three counts of “wanton endangerment in the first degree”, an outcome which has led to widespread criticism.
Hamilton was not censured by the FIA for his actions at Mugello but the governing body is expected to issue a clarification ahead of the next event in Sochi, Russia this weekend.
“What was really positive is the support I got from the fans,” said Hamilton during Thursday’s press conference.
“I think the fans have been amazing and I don’t regret a single moment of it. I usually follow my heart and do what I feel is right, I felt that was me following my heart.
“I did something which has never really happened before in F1 and obviously they’ll stop it from happening moving forwards.
“People do talk about sport not being a place for politics but ultimately it’s human rights issues.
“In my opinion that is something we should be pushing towards. We have a huge group of people who watch our sport from multiple different backgrounds and cultures and we should definitely be pushing positive messages for them, especially for equality.
“What I will do is just continue to work with F1 and the FIA to make sure the messaging is right. Could it be better? Of course it could always be better but that’s a part of the learning curve.”
Hamilton went on to comment that the “very intelligent people” at the FIA “understand” the situation but is wary that the governing body has to ensure every party is satisfied.
“As a business and as an organisation there are certain limits which they feel they have to work within,” Hamilton accepted. “They are trying to make everyone happy and do the right thing.
“I think this is a learning process for everyone. People have been happy with the norm here in how life is operated but ultimately the younger generation in particular are more conscious that things aren’t equal and that change is needed.
“It does take conversations with people and things like Mugello happening to spark conversations that would never have taken place otherwise.”