F1 Has Scrapped Drivers Taking The Knee Ahead Of Races – WTF1

F1 Has Scrapped Drivers Taking The Knee Ahead Of Races

It’s clear that F1 needs to do more to boost diversity and inclusion in the paddock through its ‘We Race As One’ initiative. However, one part of that has been scrapped ahead of the 2022 season.

For the past two years, an anti-racism message has been broadcast before each Grand Prix, with several drivers choosing to take the knee as well in a public show of support.

However, F1 President and CEO Stefano Domenicali has revealed that drivers will no longer have a dedicated opportunity to do so ahead of the race, with the sport deciding to focus on “action” over “gestures”.

“I think the gesture has been an important gesture because we need to respect everyone, as always. But now is the time to move on and take some other action,” he told Sky Sports News.

“We needed to make sure that what we did was important to show the intention of Formula 1 in things that were really important for the world.

“I think now it’s the matter of [changing] gesture, to action. Now the action is the focus on the diversity of our community, and this is the first step.”

Although the formal opportunity to take the knee has been abandoned, drivers will still be free to do so if they wish.

Several drivers also proudly wore shirts displaying personal messages whilst taking the knee, such as Sebastian Vettel’s ‘Same Love‘ shirt in Hungary and Lewis Hamilton’s 2021 tops featuring lines from a poem by George the Poet honouring Black History Month.

Domenicali’s comments come after F1 announced it had extended funding for its engineering scholarship for under-represented groups until at least 2025.

The programme, introduced last year, has supported 10 students in universities across the UK and Italy.

Do you think F1’s doing enough to increase diversity? Let us know in the comments below. 

12 thoughts on “F1 Has Scrapped Drivers Taking The Knee Ahead Of Races

  • Steven Bremer says:

    Good on the management. There have been far too many gestures with no meaningful, peaceful outcomes. To be honest these gestures have come off as forced and insincere. This is not just the case for F1 but many sports; especially in the US.

  • Phillip Watters says:

    Thank you Stefano Domenicali. His comments reinforce my feeling on this since it started. Gestures like kneeling or holding up a fist are only meaningful if they’re spontaneous. It doesn’t mean anything if its scheduled. Those “We Race As One” segments always seemed so choreographed and insincere, as if the drivers were just participating to fulfill their contracts. It got to be the same as saying “thoughts & prayers” following a tragedy, just a kind gesture with no real meaning or impact.

  • Nathan McGregor says:

    I wish they would scrap the front of the grid ceremonies altogether and go back to letting the drivers stand by their cars for the national anthems.

  • O no…no.. someone will need to kneel on both knees, before races, you know who?
    the disillusioned driver will need a lot of praying, if he is to continue racing

  • For the entire time I gave been watching F1, it has become a rich participant’s sport. There is and has never been any opportunity for people of medium to low income to even have a whisper of a chance at even getting close to any of the feeder series, let alone the main game. There are too many paid seats and no opportunity for undiscovered talent.

  • Silence is assent.
    Doing and saying nothing is an encouragement to racism
    All evil needs to triumph is for good men (and women) to do nothing.

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