Lewis Hamilton: Formula One lacks leadership in tackling racism

Lewis Hamilton moved to the top of the world championship – and then accused Formula One of lacking leadership in tackling racism.

Hamilton wore a Black Lives Matter T-shirt and stood in front of an 'End Racism' message as he took the knee ahead of Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix.

Hamilton was joined by a number of drivers in performing the gesture, but, as in previous weeks, some stood, and some were late to the pre-race ensemble.

The split is continuing to prove an embarrassing spectacle for F1 bosses, with Hamilton also moving to single out Grand Prix Drivers' Association director Romain Grosjean – the Frenchman who races for Haas – for failing to convince the grid to be united.

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Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton celebrates with the trophy after winning the Formula One Hungarian Grand Prix race at the Hungaroring circuit in Mogyorod near Budapest, Hungary, on July 19, 2020. (Photo by Mark Thompson / POOL / AFP) (Photo by MARK THOMPSON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - JULY 19: Race winner Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP celebrates on the podium during the Formula One Grand Prix of Hungary at Hungaroring on July 19, 2020 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Dan Istitene - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton celebrates with the trophy on the podium of the Formula One Hungarian Grand Prix race at the Hungaroring circuit in Mogyorod near Budapest, Hungary, on July 19, 2020. (Photo by Leonhard Foeger / POOL / AFP) (Photo by LEONHARD FOEGER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
(R to L) Second placed Red Bull's Dutch driver Max Verstappen, winner Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton and third placed Mercedes' Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas spary with champagne during the podium ceremony of the Formula One Hungarian Grand Prix at the Hungaroring circuit in Mogyorod near Budapest, Hungary, on July 19, 2020. (Photo by Mark Thompson / POOL / AFP) (Photo by MARK THOMPSON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - JULY 19: Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing and The Netherlands during the Formula One Grand Prix of Hungary at Hungaroring on July 19, 2020 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images)
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - JULY 19: Charles Leclerc of Monaco driving the (16) Scuderia Ferrari SF1000 on track during the Formula One Grand Prix of Hungary at Hungaroring on July 19, 2020 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - JULY 19: Race winner Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP celebrates in parc ferme after the Formula One Grand Prix of Hungary at Hungaroring on July 19, 2020 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - JULY 19: Race winner Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP celebrates in parc ferme after the Formula One Grand Prix of Hungary at Hungaroring on July 19, 2020 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - JULY 19: Race winner Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes W11 takes the chequered flag during the Formula One Grand Prix of Hungary at Hungaroring on July 19, 2020 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Dan Istitene - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - JULY 19: Second placed Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing celebrates with team members in parc ferme after the Formula One Grand Prix of Hungary at Hungaroring on July 19, 2020 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Joe Klamar/Pool via Getty Images)
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - JULY 19: Race winner Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP celebrates in parc ferme after the Formula One Grand Prix of Hungary at Hungaroring on July 19, 2020 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Dan Istitene - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
Ferrari's German driver Sebastian Vettel steers his car in front of Racing Point's Mexican driver Sergio Perez during the Formula One Hungarian Grand Prix race at the Hungaroring circuit in Mogyorod near Budapest, Hungary, on July 19, 2020. (Photo by Darko Bandic / POOL / AFP) (Photo by DARKO BANDIC/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Racing Point's Canadian driver Lance Stroll steers his car during the Formula One Hungarian Grand Prix race at the Hungaroring circuit in Mogyorod near Budapest, Hungary, on July 19, 2020. (Photo by Darko Bandic / POOL / AFP) (Photo by DARKO BANDIC/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - JULY 19: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Aston Martin Red Bull Racing RB16 leads Valtteri Bottas of Finland driving the (77) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes W11 during the Formula One Grand Prix of Hungary at Hungaroring on July 19, 2020 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Darko Bandic/Pool via Getty Images)
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - JULY 19: Sebastian Vettel of Germany driving the (5) Scuderia Ferrari SF1000 on the way to the grid before the Formula One Grand Prix of Hungary at Hungaroring on July 19, 2020 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Clive Mason - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - JULY 19: Charles Leclerc of Monaco driving the (16) Scuderia Ferrari SF1000 during the Formula One Grand Prix of Hungary at Hungaroring on July 19, 2020 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Clive Mason - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
Haas F1's Danish driver Kevin Magnussen steers his car in front of Racing Point's Mexican driver Sergio Perez during the Formula One Hungarian Grand Prix race at the Hungaroring circuit in Mogyorod near Budapest, Hungary, on July 19, 2020. (Photo by Joe Klamar / POOL / AFP) (Photo by JOE KLAMAR/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - JULY 19: Sergio Perez of Mexico driving the (11) Racing Point RP20 Mercedes leads a line of cars during the Formula One Grand Prix of Hungary at Hungaroring on July 19, 2020 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - JULY 19: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Aston Martin Red Bull Racing RB16 during the Formula One Grand Prix of Hungary at Hungaroring on July 19, 2020 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Dan Istitene - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - JULY 19: Racing Point team members work in the pit lane during the Formula One Grand Prix of Hungary at Hungaroring on July 19, 2020 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images)
Williams' Canadian driver Nicholas Latifi steers his car during the Formula One Hungarian Grand Prix race at the Hungaroring circuit in Mogyorod near Budapest, Hungary, on July 19, 2020. (Photo by Joe Klamar / POOL / AFP) (Photo by JOE KLAMAR/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - JULY 19: Masashi Yamamoto of Honda looks on from the Red Bull Racing pitwall during the Formula One Grand Prix of Hungary at Hungaroring on July 19, 2020 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Getty Images/Getty Images)
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - JULY 19: Alexander Albon of Thailand and Red Bull Racing prepares to drive before the Formula One Grand Prix of Hungary at Hungaroring on July 19, 2020 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Getty Images/Getty Images)
Ferrari's Monegasque driver Charles Leclerc steers his car during the Formula One Hungarian Grand Prix race at the Hungaroring circuit in Mogyorod near Budapest, Hungary, on July 19, 2020. (Photo by Joe Klamar / POOL / AFP) (Photo by JOE KLAMAR/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - JULY 19: Sebastian Vettel of Germany driving the (5) Scuderia Ferrari SF1000 on track during the Formula One Grand Prix of Hungary at Hungaroring on July 19, 2020 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - JULY 19: Nicholas Latifi of Canada driving the (6) Williams Racing FW43 Mercedes on track during the Formula One Grand Prix of Hungary at Hungaroring on July 19, 2020 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - JULY 19: Scuderia AlphaTauri team members prepare for a pitstop during the Formula One Grand Prix of Hungary at Hungaroring on July 19, 2020 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images)
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - JULY 19: Valtteri Bottas of Finland driving the (77) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes W11 during the Formula One Grand Prix of Hungary at Hungaroring on July 19, 2020 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Clive Mason - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - JULY 19: Alexander Albon of Thailand driving the (23) Aston Martin Red Bull Racing RB16 during the Formula One Grand Prix of Hungary at Hungaroring on July 19, 2020 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Clive Mason - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - JULY 19: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Aston Martin Red Bull Racing RB16 makes a pitstop for new tyres during the Formula One Grand Prix of Hungary at Hungaroring on July 19, 2020 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Getty Images/Getty Images)
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - JULY 19: Sergio Perez of Mexico driving the (11) Racing Point RP20 Mercedes during the Formula One Grand Prix of Hungary at Hungaroring on July 19, 2020 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Clive Mason - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - JULY 19: Pierre Gasly of France driving the (10) Scuderia AlphaTauri AT01 Honda retires during the Formula One Grand Prix of Hungary at Hungaroring on July 19, 2020 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images)
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - JULY 19: Pierre Gasly of France driving the (10) Scuderia AlphaTauri AT01 Honda retires during the Formula One Grand Prix of Hungary at Hungaroring on July 19, 2020 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images)
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - JULY 19: Alexander Albon of Thailand driving the (23) Aston Martin Red Bull Racing RB16 on track during the Formula One Grand Prix of Hungary at Hungaroring on July 19, 2020 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
Racing Point's Mexican driver Sergio Perez steers his car in front of Ferrari's German driver Sebastian Vettel driver Charles Leclerc during the Formula One Hungarian Grand Prix race at the Hungaroring circuit in Mogyorod near Budapest, Hungary, on July 19, 2020. (Photo by Joe Klamar / POOL / AFP) (Photo by JOE KLAMAR/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Haas F1's French driver Romain Grosjean steers his car in front of Racing Point's Canadian driver Lance Stroll and Ferrari's Monegasque driver Charles Leclerc during the Formula One Hungarian Grand Prix race at the Hungaroring circuit in Mogyorod near Budapest, Hungary, on July 19, 2020. (Photo by Joe Klamar / POOL / AFP) (Photo by JOE KLAMAR/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Renault's Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo steers his car in front of Williams' Canadian driver Nicholas Latifi (L) and Red Bull's Thai driver Alex Albon during the Formula One Hungarian Grand Prix race at the Hungaroring circuit in Mogyorod near Budapest, Hungary, on July 19, 2020. (Photo by Joe Klamar / POOL / AFP) (Photo by JOE KLAMAR/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
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Grosjean is one of three directors for the organisation alongside Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, who did take a knee, and chairman Alex Wurz, a former F1 driver.

"There is definitely not enough support for it," said Hamilton. "It is like it has gone off the agenda. It is lacking leadership.

"From a drivers' point of view, many seem to be of the opinion they've done it once and they're not going to do it again.

"We are all members of the GPDA and the GPDA is run by three people – two who are really supportive, and one who tends to think it is not important to continue with.

"I don't think it's being taken seriously. There are perhaps people who have not grown up around racism so don't understand it and because of that it doesn't affect them.

"I have heard people say 'it doesn't do anything for me so why should I do it?' But it's not about me and you, it's about this fight for the people out there who are experiencing discrimination."

F1 chairman Chase Carey has vowed to put in $1million of his own money to improve diversity in the sport he rules. The FIA has also pledged more than £900,000.

Hamilton said he will speak to F1 bosses and the president of its governing body, Jean Todt, in the hope of bringing the grid together.

He added: "I will get in touch with Formula One this week and I will speak to Jean because no-one else is going to do it.

"We have not made any progress. We have not changed anything. You need a leader. Where is Jean in that scenario?

"It shouldn't be down to me to call the teams out for not being accountable on the issue. That should come from the top down and the higher powers, who pull the strings."

Responding to Hamilton's latest comments, an F1 spokesperson said: "Ending racism and increasing diversity and inclusion in F1 is a clear priority and something everyone supports.

"We set out our plans for diversity and inclusion last November and have in recent weeks announced additional plans to create a Taskforce to tackle these issues and a foundation with over $1m already donated to create apprenticeships and job opportunities for under-represented groups.

"We want to make lasting change and are acting to do this."

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