FIA boss Todt says ’all lives’ matter
"Lewis feels strongly about racism"
As Lewis Hamilton blasts Formula 1’s anti-racism measures as "not good enough", FIA president Jean Todt has declared that "all lives" matter.
After matching Michael Schumacher’s single-circuit record by winning in Hungary for the eighth time, six-time world champion Hamilton slammed the "embarrassing" pre-race spectacle as he again kneeled for the Black Lives Matter movement.
In part, he blamed Grand Prix Drivers’ Association director Romain Grosjean for the shambles.
"He doesn’t think it’s important to do it," Hamilton said of his French rival. "He’s one of them that thinks that it was done once and that’s all we need to do."
Grosjean’s fellow GPDA director Sebastian Vettel agrees that Sunday’s ’take a knee’ moment was not a good look.
"You saw what happened," said the Ferrari driver. "There was very little time today, everyone was in a hurry.
"In the future, we need to agree on what we will do. Hopefully we will solve this problem by the next race."
But Hamilton also hit out at Formula 1’s owner, Liberty Media, and the Todt-run governing FIA.
"It is lacking leadership," he charged. "We are in a sport and there needs to be leadership from the top and currently there is none of that.
"I will get in touch with F1 this week and get in touch with Jean Todt, as no one else is going to do it. I would love to know what Jean thinks and what Chase (Carey) thinks.
"You need a leader - where is Jean in that scenario? It should not be for me to call them out."
But F1 CEO Chase Carey has pledged $1 million to the anti-racism cause, and the Daily Mail reveals that Todt has also committed about the same amount via the FIA.
Todt, whose actress wife Michelle Yeoh is Chinese, says racism affects more than just black people.
"Lewis feels strongly about racism. It is a cause dear to him," the FIA president, who says he understands why some drivers do not kneel, said.
"People are different," said the Frenchman. "Some are loud, others put their case quietly. But we all aim for the end of racism.
"I say life matters. Lives matter. Not just black lives. Or yellow lives. Or white lives. All lives," Todt added.
Former Minardi driver, Russian Sergey Zlobin, is highly critical of Hamilton’s recent actions.
"I’m tired of this circus, to be honest," he told Izvestia news agency.
"On his whim, the Mercedes is painted black and the drivers are on a knee. This is no longer Formula 1 but some kind of political rally."
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