Leclerc won’t kneel due to link with violence
"I do not accept violence in any form"
Charles Leclerc says he refuses to kneel before races due to the politicisation of racial issues, and the movement’s links to violence.
The Ferrari driver is one of seven drivers - including Max Verstappen, Kimi Raikkonen, Carlos Sainz, Daniil Kvyat, Antonio Giovinazzi and Kevin Magnussen - who remained standing at Silverstone last weekend.
Lewis Hamilton, who wears Black Lives Matter branding as he kneels rather than the ’End Racism’ message on the t-shirts of the other drivers, has said he would like to convince drivers like Leclerc with "more conversations".
But Leclerc said: "I am against racism. I fight against it and I am glad that Formula 1 is using its platform to show the world the right position.
"But I don’t want to kneel down, because many of the protests that take place around the world are often violent," he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
"And I do not accept violence in any form," said the 22-year-old.
"I also don’t like that politicians are starting to use these protests for their own purposes."
However, Leclerc insisted that he has no problem with Hamilton himself.
"I don’t think anyone should diminish Lewis’ achievements," he said.
"In my opinion, he is one of the best drivers in Formula 1 history. He always gives 100 percent and is very strong psychologically. And in combination with Mercedes it is very difficult to fight with them at the moment."
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