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Hamilton addresses ‘Take a Knee’ protests and keeps eyes firmly on prize at US F1 GP
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Posted By: Editor   |  19 Oct 2017   |  7:01 pm GMT  |  205 comments

Lewis Hamilton spoke of his desire to win the US Formula 1 Grand Prix and clarified his stance on the ‘Take a Knee’ protests when asked during the Thursday drivers’ press conference.

The Briton, who was expected by some to kneel during the US national anthem in solidarity with other sportspersons such as Colin Kaepernick after an Instagram post explaining the NFL player’s decision to do so, said “I don’t have a position, I don’t have any plans [to take a knee].”

When pressed further about the issue, Hamilton explained: “Of course there’s been, there’s been a lot of mention of it, not of the kneeling but just of the whole situation.

“I know a lot of people here in America and I get to speak to a lot of black and white people that live in America, and I get quite a good view of what’s happening here in the States, and opinions from the Americans here and about the movement, which I think is pretty huge.

“I respect it highly and I find the movement that Kaepernick started, I think, awesome.

“And I’m very much in support of it, but I’m here to win. That’s really at the top of my priority at the moment, I’m not really focused on anything else at the moment.

“I don’t really plan on allowing all the BS that’s surrounding the topic to pull me down in my strive to winning this world title. I’ve worked hard to be where I am today and whilst I have opinions and feelings about the whole situation, as I said at the moment: [I have] no plans to do anything [protest].”

With a 59-point cushion at the top of the drivers’ championship, Hamilton needs a win with rival Sebastian Vettel finishing sixth or lower or a second-place finish with Vettel finishing ninth or below for a fourth championship.

“Honestly I think the talk of the championship this weekend has been silly I think,” said Hamilton.

“Sebastian [and Ferrari], you can’t expect them to have a difficult weekend again, they’re going to be quick.

“I think [Vettel has] been a strong fighter all year and just because he’s obviously had a few issues technically but I think still the car is as strong as it’s been, for sure they’ll have an upgrade this weekend, they’ve definitely had a couple of hiccups but they’ll definitely have something for this weekend, that’s why nothing’s changed for me.

“There’s no reason to back out, just got to keep pushing forward.

“We’ve got a chance to win the championship, I honestly don’t care if it’s here or in the last race.”

Hamilton also explained that he wants to win the US GP above all and implied wider reasons for his motivation.

“I think winning here is the most important thing to me, particularly in the midst of all that is going on in the country, I think that is a priority for me, and you know what I’m talking about,” he said.

Having been quizzed multiple times about the protest situation, Hamilton clarified: “As I said, I’m here to win, that’s my focus.”

Will Hamilton clinch the title at the US Formula 1 Grand Prix? Have your say in the comment section below.

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1

Funny but back in September he was on instagram posting pictures of Martin Luther King and giving his support for those taking the knee. Now he is just dodging the issue. Talented driver but no depth of charter.
http://en.f1i.com/news/280648-lewis-hamilton-defends-take-knee-nfl-protests.html

2

In my view nothing to do with depth of character. He is not American and this is not his fight.

3

He's British. He's got no more reason to adopt this cause than anyone else on the grid. He's voiced his support for the movement and I imagine the majority of drivers would agree with him on that. To go any further than that might seem a cynical, attention seeking gesture for a foreigner to make.

4

It's a human rights issue, not limited to Americans. There are many #blacklivesmatter demonstrations here in Canada too.

5

I suppose it means for me here in a Johannesburg I must also take a knee when the South African anthem is played?

6

I disagree. Considerably his primary skills are on the race track not with the verbal dexterity, Lewis has done pretty well in getting across that he supports the "take a knee" movement. He can't realistically go much further - he's not American (so if he did anything more many would take offence for "interfering") and also he's a contracted highly-paid frontman for Mercedes/Daimler who want to sell cars to everyone, black or white. They're hardly likely to let him upset the apple cart.

7

the us grand prix has not even started..

8

Hamilton doesn't strike me as a political animal and whilst I think he's right about the kneeling protests he'd open himself up to accusations of hypocrisy if he knelt given that he was happy to dress in robes and praise the Bahraini Royals. All that said, I hope he wins in Austin again and equals Vettel's title haul as soon as possible.

9

Good, I'm glad he has no plans for this daft idea. It's one thing to protest your own anthem, but he would be opening himself up to some very valid criticism given the anthems he has already stood for (Bahrain, China, Russia) and the hands he has shaken in the past (Putin).

10

Matt W. People often criticize lewis for whatever he does. How is this any different. At least he's standing or kneeling for an incredible cause close to his heart. In case you haven't noticed, lewis is black - using his platform to bring awareness is no different than F1's breast cancer awareness hoopla they've been pushing this weekend. Seems awfully political to me, or maybe the lives of blacks in the United states doesn't warrant coverage.

Being passionate about black lives in the U.S doesn't mean he has to automatically be passion for everyone in every country. Now that he's vegan, is it his responsibility to ensure the entire grid, no world follows his lead? You people are ridiculous sometimes.

11

That taking a knee thing I think is a turn off. I think they should have used another method to get their point across. I don't care what color someone is but I do think veterans many veterans with many races find it disrespectful. There are many racist people in the US. I get that. I also get it don't just happen here. I seem to remember Hamilton having a crowd like that in Spain.

BTW in the article it says Hamilton is 58 points clear of Vettel but I thought it was 59?

Also not everyone took a knee. One was a veteran who did tours in Afghanistan. The first amendment says they have the right to burn the flag if they want to. Whether it should have been done I dunno.

Sure the US has made mistakes policing the world but you guys in the UK used to do that and maybe made less mistakes. If you all want that back I'm all for it because it Just costs US too much. I guess if we don't do it China will. So everyone critical of the US might ought to think about the alternative.

12

@ Jdr - Whenever someone start talking about how it is disrespectful to the troops I just roll my eyes. *It was a soldier who advised keapernic to kneel*
Also do you know why they are protesting? Hint. It has nothing to do with world policing

13

Hmm... I doubt Lewis will clinch the title in the US because amazingly both he and Vettel have clinched their titles at different tracks

But certainly, a US victory is important to Lewis because the race feels like another home race because he has a holiday home there hence he has lots of friends and peers offering him support

And as irony would have it, Lewis has a pretty good record in the US as not is he the only driver to have won with different teams but he is also the only driver to have won at different US circuits.

Overall, it has been a pretty impressive season by Lewis once again showing the fans that when he has little bad luck during a season, he is difficult to beat e.g. 2007, 2015

14

Good for Lewis not to get sucked into the political BS but if Lewis ever feels the need to kneel, he should kneel during his own National Anthem and see how that goes over.

15

Is it really political BS. Unarmed people being killed by armed police shooting first and asking questions later is a real issue not BS.

17

Honestly, no-one in the UK would care if Hamilton made some kind of political statement during God Save the Queen. Daily Thompson whistled the national anthem when he won Olympic Gold, and a few people got their knickers in a twist, but that was 30 years ago. We don't get much bothered about anthems - Scots and Welsh sing their own anthems at sports events anyway.

18

If he knelt during the British anthem, almost nobody would care. In the UK we don't have the same reverence for the flag of anthem that Americans do. I doubt many people even know all the words to our anthem - I know I don't.

19

When Jeremy Corbyn didn't sing the national anthem people were up in arms about it...

20

So that I understand your theory, “because Hamilton had reliability issue, that means Hamilton was unlucky. And because it happened to Vettel, Ferrari is at fault! And therefore, no luck involved when it comes to Ferrari.” Wow!! Let’s just agree to disagree.

21

It's got nothing to do with Hamilton, Vettel or any driver, it's to do with intra-team reliability vs inter-team reliability. Inter-team reliability (e.g. Ferrari vs Mercedes) is a function of that teams' overall competitiveness against the field; intra-team reliability (e.g. Hamilton vs Rosberg) isn't, again working on the assumption that all teams treat their drivers equally and give them equal equipment. I think for example Verstappen has been unlucky this year, having more reliability issues that Ricciardo.

22

Reliability is just part of this sport. Of course it’s frustrating when it happens to anyone. It’s not abnormal or an unexpected event. If it happens to one team or a driver more than the others, in F1 it’s called team doing a bad job. Conversely, when one team keeps winning, means the team did a better job. As I said before, luck is not factual event in F1. Getting struck by lightning is.

23

By your definition getting struck by lightning isn't either - it's just a series of chemical processes. And you can do things that prevent you getting struck by lightning e.g. not going outside and playing golf in a thunderstorm.

And just to repeat, I'm not saying that mechanical failures are down to luck, they are down to precesses and failures on the part of the team. The fact that Ferrari have had more reliability issues than Mercedes this year is not down to luck. However, given that both Hamilton and Rosberg had the same chance of having an engine failure at any given point in time, the fact that Rosberg had zero to Hamilton's three is pretty much the definition of luck, as neither he nor Hamilton had any say in the outcome.

24

Andrew M, the papers and opposition politicians were up in arms about it, the British people couldn't have cared less.

25

Well I don't presume to know the feelings of every single person in the UK as well as you 😉 My point was that if Lewis did protest during the national anthem it is very unlikely to have gone unnoticed or unreported on.

26

Someone else asked me the same question & I left an answer to my observation. Feel free to have a look.

27

I agree, as a brit I can imagine the uproar but it is true. Why kneel for another countries national anthem. As a black person I can see why the protests are taking place. However as many others have said in America, It's disrespectful to the US military. Lewis doesn't need to get involved with this. The fact he's being questioned about it is already too much.

28

I'm mixed race, British/Jamaican, was a British soldier for 24 years 16-40. Why is kneeling during anthem disrespectful to the military?

29

Whilst it is a personal feeling for each of us, I fail to see how protesting about the collective actions of the police forces of many states should affect anybody in the national forces.

30

Agreed.

31

James, Lewis doesn't find himself 59 points ahead because of luck as you've alluded to in the driver's press conference. Luck didn't give him pole and the race win in spa, monza, Spain or Japan, it was team effort married with brilliant driving.

Considering how difficult the w08 is, one would think the press would highlight the stellar job he's doing. Instead, there's constant criticism of bottas' underperformance. Unfortunately, singing his praises generates less clicks - portraying Hamilton as a maverick, lazy, often aloof character distracts the masses from the truly special driver he is.

Worryingly, no one questioned the legitimacy of Rosberg's fortuitous championship last year. Luck indeed.

32

Plenty of people questioned Robert's championship last season because of luck.

33

Rosberg's

34

good point! some claim his success is because there are more races per season, yet none of all drivers racing with more races per season have achieved anything close.
some say he was lucky to be in a faster car yet with no f1 experience he beat alonso in the same car.
others say it’s because he has a dominant car but forget vettel had a dominant car for longer and was unopposed yet has no statistics to match. they have too many excuses. even murray walker claims hamilton cannot beat schumacher's records and yet name a pre f1 driver as the best ever..9 podiums in his first 9 f1 races, alonso only managed 6 at the same time, in the same car.

35

Where did James imply his lead is down to luck? And when you say no-one questioned the legitimacy of Rosberg's championship I'd have to disagree - the was a lot of discussion on TV coverage (UK), websites, blogs etc. Personally I think luck comes in to it but it is part of the drama of the sport, as with many others

36

No-one questioned Rosberg’s title last year?! Haha

37

I’m a big Hamilton fan too but there’s nothing wrong with admitting he is lucky to have the lead he does. That takes nothing away from his performance.

He has driven very well but had Vettel not suffered the bad luck he has there is no way the gap would be as large as if currently. Even as well as Hamilton was driving he would have lost Singapore and Malaysia, and if he won Japan there would be only a few points between them as there had been all season until the run of Vettel bad luck.

I questioned the legitimacy of Rosbergs title. He wasn’t the best performer over the course of the season and was lucky that Hamilton had the worse reliability. This season is different because although Hamilton has had the luck he has also been the best performer.

38

When Lewis sows up the championship it will not be luck, the margin of points will not be down to luck as it is not luck that Ferrari can not quality control spark plugs
As to Nico winning last season ..he admitted Lewis was a better driver but he worked hard to become the better package. Hence Lewis slagged off the simulator, Nico spent time on it. The results was that when the radio ban prevented the engineers giving advice on engine modes Nico sorted out a problem whilst Lewis was on the radio talking about trying every button . It was hard work not luck that gave him the title not luck

39
Torchwood Mobile

@Jon - The Baku engine mode issue was created by the engineers changing the settings on Lewis' car without telling him, so whatever change he made, did not do what he was used to it doing.

Nico, in contrast, had a working, un-messed with car, and BY HIMSELF, toggled it into the problem that Lewis was having, felt it was wrong, and toggled out of it.

You sound like you only heard Niki Lauda's off the hip assessment, before the he got the full explanation.

40

Official Merc statement was that both cars were given the same problem. Nico did not have an un messed car and create the problem himself. However as most of the statement is Totto double talk I’ll don’t think we will know the full story for many years if ever
http://www.espn.co.uk/f1/story/_/id/16339936/mercedes-explains-lewis-hamilton-setting-issue-baku

41

Torchwood. Thank you for correcting me about the engine mode issues. Perhaps you can point me to a reliable source so that I can re educate myself.

42

@Jon

No problem.

I wasn't sure how I would direct you to something from over a year back, but if you look up Sky F1's "Ted's Notebook" for Baku 2016 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3c4AMEDbA4 - he covers Nico toggling into and out of the problem, but doesn't really go into the Lewis situation as much as I would like, however, he does compare the two situations.

Rather than your comparison of their respective simulator usage, one thing that I think benefited Nico's racecraft for 2016, was buying himself a kart, and doing some karting during the Winter season.

43

Nothing to do with Hamilton talking get his eye of the ball.

45

One more race and Rosberg would've lost that Championship! He barely hung on!

46

"It doesn't matter if you win by an inch or a mile .. winning is winning"

- Vin Diesel

47

F1 is not a powerball lottery. There’s no such a thing is luck in this sport. Better team with a better can and a good driver that gets the best out of the package wins the championship. Luck a lazy excuse for hypocrisy.

48

Fzero, so you think Lewis has been the better driver this year?

49

Good try mate. You gotta get out of this selective premeditated reading my friend. I was going to just ignore your comment. Then I thought, I’d give you chance one more time. It’s a team sport, your pal Ham has been good enough to get the best out of the best car. A car that require good enough driver like Ham to win. Anyone such as Ric, Ves, Vet, Ham and maybe even someone like Perez capable of doing it. Only an incompetent driver like Bottas and Kimi (who is way past his used by date) aren’t capable of making it happen. Better driver argument for the championship maybe juicy for you. Mercedes has been the better team for 4 years and produced the best car.

50

Fzero. Obviously you have no idea how the drivers you mention would get on in that Mercedes, none of us do. I think we can safely say that Perez wouldn't be leading the championship though! Thise seats aren't handed out in a powerball lottery either, Mercedes know exactly how good Lewis is, and they also know that Bottas is far from incompetent.
This whole 'luck doesn't exist' thing is a very strange position to take, you say that mechanical failure is expected in F1, so surely someone who goes an entire season with no unreliability issues is lucky?

51

F zero. 90% agree with you. I think Max getting taken out in a Ferrari sandwich was bad luck but too many people blame luck for poor qaulity or race management.

52

The "sandwich" was not a problem as he continued on pretty well undamaged. Running the gauntlet of a car sliding on a very wet track was all his choice. Others backed off, Max and Fernando didn't, with both retiring as a result.

53

"There’s no such a thing is luck in this sport. "

You are of course right of course, although not in the way you mean it - Hamilton's failures weren't bad luck in a grand, universal sense of the word; they were down to microscopic failures in Mercedes' QA processes.

They were, however, outside Hamilton's control, and (always working under the assumption that Hamilton and Rosberg got equal status and equipment) he was unlucky that he suffered three engine failures and Rosberg zero.

54

Last time I checked mechanical failure is very common in F1, in fact the most obvious and expected part of the sport. It’s irrelevant what causes the mechanical failure. It’s normal in F1. Luck is something that’s not expected. People use the word luck to make themselves feel better.

55

So every driver on the grid expects to have a significantly worse reliability rate than their teammate before the season starts do they? I'm pretty sure that's not the case.

56

A big part of the reliability is how you treat the car. Hence if you turn the engine mode up more often than your team mate of if you are on the revs a lot longer then perhaps the engine will give out on you whilst your “slower” team mate gets to the line and the points.

57

@ Oblah...Surely you can't be serious! The Hamilton supporters have consistently argued that Hamilton was robbed of the title last year by 'bad luck' etc etc etc. To date this year Hamilton has benefited by the non performance of Ferrari to the extent that he now has an almost unassailable lead.

58

@Kenneth. In sport, unreliability happens. I found it disingenuous for james to pose such a question to Lewis. Seb won 2012 on the heel of having a great car and lewis/ fernando's misfortunes.

Rosberg benefited from lewis' unreliability all throughout 2016. It was the primary reason he won the championship. No unbiased individual would conclude otherwise.

Lewis had more poles, wins, and podiums all while starting from the back twice, 10th in china, speared by bottas in bahrain, an engine blow up and the baku incident. Bar a gear box penalty in austria, Rosberg started on the front row at every event and accumulated the most penalty points.

Been around long enough to know you're not a fan, which is perfectly fine. But, taking an unbiased view of the season even you'd see the value in my initial assertion.

59

Lewis did not perform to his ability and that is the only thing totally in his control, whilst in contrast Rosberg extracted every drop of his. That is the starting point when looking for reasons.

60

Bryce, are you saying Nico couldn't have finished any higher in Monaco, Canada or Germany? Was it not possible for him to finish second in Austria? What about all of his bad starts? No driver has ever delivered the perfect season, Nico certainly didn't last year.

61

Okay Tim, you're correct, ROS had a poor year, yet still beat HAM

62

Bryce, Nico had a similar year to all the others, he just had zero races affected by unreliability, while Lewis had four. Have a look at the points total for the races where no mechanical problems occured, and tell me again that Nico beat Lewis.

63

Rosberg extracted every drop of performance? Like when he came home 7th in Monaco when Hamilton won? Or when he lost Hungary and Germany from pole?

64

Yeah Andrew, you're correct, ROS perfomed poorly last year, but still beat HAM

65

I never said he performed poorly, just that this narrative that he "raised his game" and had a flawless year tries to deflect from the fact he won because of a massive reliability imbalance.

66

I guess the difference is that if reliability had been equal between the title contenders last year, the result would have been different, while this year it would have been the same.

67

Forget about that other crap, you either think Lewis drove to his ability last year or not. I think it is obvious to most people, the man himself knows it and thus doesn't use the excuses a lot of his fans continue to.

FWIW, I think he is now performing at his peak.

68

Bryce. The question isn't "did Lewis deliver the perfect season?", it is "was Nico a better driver than Lewis in 2016?", the answer to both questions is 'no'.
Lewis is concentrating on the things that are within his control, this is all he can do, but to just say that we should forget about the reliability is ridiculous, clearly the effect on the championship was huge.

69

I agree to a certain extent. That being said Hamilton has driven brilliant since the summer break.

Almost faultlessly.

70
Clarks4WheelDrift

Here we go again, "Rosberg's fortuitous championship", Malaysia '16 engine failure was the only race in the '16 title, boo hoo, etc etc...

James doesn't write articles portraying Hamilton as "lazy, often aloof" just to generate clicks!?!
This is not the Primary 3 playground, cease the Lewis is hard done by paranoia and tell your clubmates as well...

Yes, yes, it was really "fortuitous" that Rosberg won the first four races in the season, fortuitous Rosberg still won despite being taken out in Spain, fortuitous Rosberg still won after Red Bull handed Lewis a Monaco victory, etc etc.

Is it luck to have had a far faster, far more reliable car than Alonso, Vettel, Dan Ric over the past 4 years 😉 Those 2s per lap, it's all driver isn't it...lol

71

+Clarks
You sound like a disenfranchised alonso/vettel/Dan fan aka Ham hater. Does it hurt everytime lewis tears up the record books? LOL
Keep crying, salty tears are my favorite dish.

72
Clarks4WheelDrift

Nope, just a fan of F1 cars racing wheel to wheel, where the balance of engine PU, aero, driver etc provdes good action and the odd great race like Suzuka 2005 😉

73

Is it luck....

Interesting question - is it luck ?
Obviously Mercedes could have thrown him out whenever the fancy took them and given the seat to someone more deserving. But they didn’t....,why would that be do you think ? If Danny Ric gets the second seat in 2019 (?) will that be lucky or will they have chosen him having very carefully considered his strengths and weaknesses?

74

Clarkes, here we go again, another day, another snti Lewis rant! You were inpressed by Nico winning the first four races last season? You realise that Lewis won four in a row twice last year right? Do you remember Lewis' car breaking down in qualifying for two of those first four GP? Obviously you think it made no difference, just like Malaysia made no difference! This 2 seconds a lap rubbish again? Really?!

75

Nothing to do with Lewis's bad starts as well as being distracted by the snapchat nonsense in Japan.

76

Red, how many points do you think Lewis lost through mechanical problems last year?

77

How points do you think he lost through his own mistakes?

78

Red, less than Nico.

79

@clarkes4WD...very well said. I fully agree.

80

"Malaysia '16 engine failure was the only race in the '16 title, boo hoo, etc etc..."

You're right, there were also China, Russia and Belgium where Rosberg was gifted wins.

81

Hamilton handled it well, at least up to this point. Talk about walking on a tightrope!
Right or wrong, if he takes a knee, in Texas no less, whatever popularity he has in the US would all but vanish.
I feel for him - because of his color and fame is being pressured to respond to an issue that he most likely wants no part of.
IMO He should skirt any further questions on the subject - even refuse to respond if necessary.

82

Whatever your position is, Lewis can single handedly do more to damage Formula One's aspirations here in the states with that one single action. It would be an especially large slap in the face considering the countries he competes in that have huge human rights issues F1 happily ignores.

83

Every article in this blog about F1 as a sport. Even the political view is in the context of F1 as a sport. So, please let’s not link human rights or political issue with F1. They aren’t all the same. Last few Americans I met here in Australia, don’t regard US as the best example for any rights let alone human rights. So, let’s have s chat about F1, the global sport. This sport ain’t America’s product to mess with.

84

Definitely. I don't disagree with his sentiments, but he is not in his home country of England, woops make that Monaco. Seeing him with the Union Jack confuses me.

85

Seeing him with the Union Jack confuses me.

Do you get similarly confused when you see the German flag on Rosberg or Vettel, the Australian flag on Danny Ric, the Brazilian flag on Massa or the Saint Andrews Cross on Coulthard ? Or is it only Hamilton that confuses you?

86

Mainly Hamilton. Rosberg grew up there, one doesn't live there, two are from the southern hemisphere and can't recall an occasion of the other with a flag.

87

They all live in Monaco, was the point. Vettel lives in Switzerland, but for tax reasons still.

Yet you only want to harp on Hamilton. You'll have to search yourself as to why that is.

88

This is the comments section on an article about Hamilton and his actions and views on another country, not every other Tom, Dick and Harry.

Hamilton hypocritically regularly adorns himself with a flag of a country he does not want to live in and I do not respect anyone that acts as such.

89

Rosberg did indeed grow up in Monaco (in his early career he raced under the Monaco flag) - yet he chose to race under the German flag in F1. Vettel lives in Switzerland but races under a German flag. Both Danny Ric and Massa live in Monaco and race under the respective flags of their country of birth. As for Coulthard - have you never noticed his crash helmet design - it could hardly be plainer.

But only Hamilton confuses you. How odd.

90

Above is an article about Hamilton and his thoughts and actions relating to another country, not every other resident of Monaco, particularly his peers forced to relocate region to be part of F1.

Never been interested in looking at Coulthard, let alone his helmet design.

91

I think we should all be confused by those national flags and anthems in F1. What is the purpose of them anyway? Most of the drivers are of a certain nationality, was brought up in another country, speaks different languages, and most live in another place compared to the team base they race for. And the teams themselves have staff members from all over the pace.

92

C63, How many drivers live in their home country? Im guessing none, but as ever inlynone of them gets dtick for it.....

93

How many drivers live in their home country?

The only one I can think of is Grosjean - born and living in Switzerland, but races under a French licence (go figure). Just his good fortune that he was born in a country where the tax laws are favourable to high earners. The rest of them do what anyone else would do and maximise their income by moving to a tax haven.
As you say, the only one that gets any stick is of course LH.

94

True, but I can only think of one who's team/s is located in their country of origin.

95

And??? What does this have to do with anything?

96

Bryce, how many drivers live in their team's home country?

97

Not relevant. Lewis is the only one to have left both his home country and that of his team. Whilst I don't like any use of tax havens, I make some allowance for the few that have to move to Europe.

What annoys me is the hypocrisy of him draping himself in the flag of a country that he chooses not to live in.

98

Lewis is the only one to have left both his home country and that of his team

What on earth are you talking about - he is nothing of the sort. The number of drivers who live or have lived in Monaco (or Switzerland, or any other country that has favourable tax laws) is endless. Picking out Lewis and describing him as a hypocrite is simply nonsense unless you are going to describe all the drivers as such. Even then I'm not sure it's hypocritical unless Lewis was chiding someone else for doing something similar. Your argument is all over the place!

99

You are not sure, but I have full conviction and have been consistent throughout. You have been consistently trying to add others, despite your original words spelling out that you knew exactly where my comment was coming from.

Actually, I get the impression that you agree with my sentiments, just can't get past it relating to Lewis, who "is" the only one after you added others to a discussion about one of twenty drivers.

100

Being consistently wrong, with full conviction, doesn't change that you're wrong. It just makes your arguments all the more bizarre and dogmatic.

101

your original words spelling out that you knew exactly where my comment was coming from.

On that we can agree - I know exactly where your comment is coming from.
Oh, and for the avoidance of all doubt - I do not agree with your sentiments in any way shape or form.

102

Bryce, sorry I'm having some difficulty understanding your point, maybe it's the noise of all those goalposts being shifted making it hard for me to concentrate, so you seem to be saying that because Lewis is English, and his team is based in England, the fact that he lives in Monaco is disgraceful, but it's ok for all of the others not to live in their home countries, or the countries where their teams are based, because those two countries are different?! Are you sure that the real reason you aren't outraged by the living arrangements of the other drivers isn't that they aren't Lewis.....

103

The goalposts have been steadfast from my first post. You must be confusing my words with those of your fellow members of the LHFC that want to bring others, even drivers of the past into it. The word "any" in the post to which you have replied covers all, but it matters not as I never excluded them in the first place.

There has never been any bias for my part toward an individual in this discussion on a topic exclusively about Lewis, doubt you and the others can honestly say the same.

104

There has never been any bias for my part

ROFLMAO

105

You might want to think a bit harder then 🙂 - there is definitely more than one team who are based in their country of origin.

106

See reply to Tim above

107

I have and it makes no sense.

108

@Bryce

Most F1 drivers, regardless of their own nationality, or their team's nationality or base, get a home in Monaco as soon as they get into F1.

Why does your blame game for British driver Lewis, not apply to British drivers Jenson and Coulthard, who did the same thing?

109

I’d love to know the nationalities of the journalists that were pressing Ham on the “take a knee” question. I listen to a lot America political shows daily. Firstly because I find them fascinating and secondly because the actions of the American politics impact the rest of the world more than others. The problem with the US media these days that they can’t leave anything out of the politics. I agree with what Ham said 100%. Some of those questions are nothing but BS. I want to see F1 left alone by the obsessive Americans political stance. Let the F1 be the racing entertainment that we love. Americans can do what they like with their sport. F1 is not their sport to muddle with like everything else.

110

f1 is a sport and sport is a brilliant platform to take a stand.

111

I'll have to burst your bubble! F1 still doesn't register with a lot of people in this Country! It still is a novelty!

112

No way, it is not about nationality. Try reading BBC, CNN, DW. There is something in common, but it is not the nationality.

113

I don't know what DW is. As for the other two try not to watch them. Their overwhelming Left-wing bias holds no bounds.

114

DW is Deutsche Welle. It is European, so it probably has an overwhelming Left-wing bias from your perspective.

From my perspective, neither BBC nor CNN are particularly left biased. But I don't watch any of them; I read the news.

115

Yeah true, it’s everywhere like chicken pox. Time to get rid of the disease.

116

@ Formula Z...Like you, i find it all rather ridiculous. All this talk about 'taking a knee' is simply detracting from the racing and what that entails. I am, putting it politely, utterly sick of all this rubbish about political statements. Hardly a day goes by without it being pushed down our throats from every corner of the world by each and every media outlet. Enough is enough. Any driver at any time that decides to score a political point that is in any way disconnected to F1 and racing should earn a race disqualification. Severe ? No, just plain commonsense.

117

Political point scoring should be kept out of F1 but if a driver feels the need to make a protest, he should not be penalised for it.

118

I agree FZ. Lewis has and should sidestep any involvement. It's not his anthem and it's not his fight. Well done to him!

119

I dont get all this media hype about him potentially "taking a knee" ... he's not American so has no allegiance to tje flag or anthem... im not sure he would ever have contemplated it were it not for the media. Ok so he's got Caribbean heritage (politically correct)... but ge is britsh and also has european heritage. Him taking a knee would be as symbolic as if Vettle were to

120

The only reason its an issue to begin with is because Hamilton suggested he may in a previous interview. Quite sad really.

121

He is a Monacoian, so he can take a knee to his Prince.

122

Wouldn’t he need to be a Monégasque for it to be ‘his Prince’ ?

123

So's Jensen Button and many other F1 drivers besides, by your rationale.

124

I wonder why you're so keen to deny a black sports star his right to be British but live elsewhere? And not Button, say (Monaco, Guernsey, Monaco)? Why would that be?

125

I wonder why you are bringing up my skin colour. How dark would you like me to be?

126

@ Bryce I wonder why you seem unable to read words and understand them at the same time.

127

You sir brought up colour and other names in a comment section about Hamilton. It is the height of hypocrisy for one to bathe in the limelight associating oneself with a particular country, but not wanting to live there. I don't give a stuff what colour anybody's skin is, even that of my son who's skin is very unlike that of his mother.

128

I think the correct term is 'a Monegasque'.

129

It would be if he was not one of the majority that came from a reasonably close country, so that they can have their yachts and planes, whilst his mechanics probably pay more tax than him.

130

whilst his mechanics probably pay more tax than him.

Not a chance - just another barrack room lawyer sounding off....

131

I believe Monegasque refers to citizens of Monaco as opposed to residents of the Principality. Hamilton, along with many other F1 drivers , falls into the latter category.

132
Tornillo Amarillo

Having been quizzed multiple times about the protest situation,

The time is not right, it's now too late,
the pressures from Public Relations, team, sponsors, could be contradictory,
he looks upset,
yeah, clearly the focus is in winning.

133
Tornillo Amarillo

but I for that gesture!

134

I wonder how much longer will this carry on until everyone gets bored of it and the media stop reporting it.

135

Until they can get off their pious, sanctimonious, vitreous high horses.

Failing that until the next cause célèbre comes along.

136

When should it be right not be concerned, unhappy or to protest against unarmed people of Any colour being shot dead by police that think its right to shoot first and ask questions later.

137

I imagine it's down to the president of the USA to stop picking a fight he can't win and to be seen dealing with the issue it's about .

138

Trouble is a good portion of his rally attending support base want him to continue.

139

Bracing yourself for a surprise.

140

I think Seb will win on Sunday, I've a feeling Lewis might DNF, he was complaining about engine vibrations at the last race. In any event I see the points gap closing. Still hope Lewis takes the title.

141

Like yourself I am hoping he wins the title but like yourself I think Vettel is going to come hard...When it comes to Lewis and his car reliability history my brain will conjure up all manner of things until he actually wins the championship which isn't a certainty. A DNF is very likely...either by accident or car issues. Fingers crossed we are both wrong.

142

No hoping! Hamilton will take the title!

143

What about Sebs car, it ran a few laps with a cylinder not firing, never a good thing for a high tech high performance engine. Another DNF for Seb is just as likely as a DNF for Lewis. I expect there are more penalties to come from both camps. Toto said mid season he expected to take penalties at the end.

144

Honest, who cares if Seb wins. I don't, at all. To prove what...
Even worse to see Lewis winning. There will be an effing time till March and after if ham is not on your menu. You know what I mean.
Better enjoy an RB fight or let's hope FI brings some competition.
Definitely Toro Rosso can offer us a show.
Daniil, Sainz, and the kiwi guy, plenty of good things, who knows.

145

Hi AlanF1, it will be a long time till March if the title is decided this weekend. I reckon I should be able to see the next season, hopefully a few more. The relentless progression and increasing weakness make me think maybe not. Still waiting to find out when the adaptations to the house will start, currently getting a bath/shower on a shower stool in a paddling pool, cant get upstairs to the shower now. Still if the title is settled hopefully all the top 6 or 8 will all go for the remaining wins.

146

Seb could also get a DNF but if so I think it would be more likely to be the gear box that the team said was OK after the incident with Lance Stroll.

147

Seb will have a brand new gearbox, having not finished the prior race.

148
Clarks4WheelDrift

Lewis will take Austin, easily. He likes the track, the pressure has dropped and he is driving a bulletproof rocketship.

149

Hope Lewis doesn't take a knee. It is a just cause, but its just to controversial with some of the rabid American sites. I've commented on a few YouTube videos of people burning NFL shirts. America has take a turn for the worse, more racist, less fair and less caring. Also to much shoot first ask questions later.

150

It comes down to leadership, but as nearly half of the people that voted cast theirs for an ethically questionable businessman that ran a platform of divisiveness and lies, well, the country got what many couldn't be bothered getting to a booth to vote against, even if the majority did.

151
Clarks4WheelDrift

Lewis could 'take a knee' while in the cockpit and still take pole and win at a canter in THAT works Mercedes with its PU at 85 percent...

...for the fourth year in a row...

152

I may have missed it (with my interest waning), but isn't Lewis in a position to clinch the championship this weekend, if he wins?! Maybe not if Vettel gets second (18 points - LH advantage with 3 races 66 pts.), third (15 - LH advantage with 3 races 69 pts.), fourth ...
just what does Vettel have to score to keep the championship alive, if Lewis wins (we he should)?

153

Please excuse the double dip - but I have a question. Why is your interest waning? I was under the impression that you believe the whole show is managed and that you knew who was going to win at the start of the season. That being the case - were the last 3 races not in the script?

154

C, as you probably know, what is happening in the championship is 95% on what I predicted during 2017 testing!
To respond directly to your question: it is confirmed that the season is basically determined, and furthermore, that it ALWAYS WAS PRE-DETERMINED; the apparent competition was an illusion to retain the fan base, and thus preserve the ROI and other success criteria for the Merc F1 program.

Mercedes big wigs, having successfully got through the majority of the season presenting an illusion of competition, can no longer repress their skittish compulsive risk aversion; they already confirmed the return on their investment for this year's campaign, now they want to consolidate their gains and finish the championship.
I expect Hamilton to win this race, so the best Vettel can hope for is slipping to a 66 point deficit with a maximum remaining 75 point maximum in three races, i.e. Hamilton would have to get les than 3 points per race to lose with Vettel being bullet proof and taking 3 races in a row, which, if I'm not mistaken , he hasn't done for quite a while (i.e. years).

Thus we have, at the best Formula One web site, an article leading up the U.S. GP on the subject of Hamilton, "...‘Take a Knee’ protests..."; that is a good allegory to the meaningfulness of the 2017 competition.

btw: thanks for the info on the points differential needed by Lewy in your subsequent post.

... and thanks for all the chuckles...

155

just what does Vettel have to score to keep the championship alive

Hamilton needs to score 16 more points than Vettel to secure the title. Unlikely that it will happen at Austin - but who expected or predicted the results from the last 3 races?

156

As a U.S. citizen, I'm sympathetic to the anthem protestors. There's a long and worthy tradition by African-Americans of using nationally-"sacred" moments like the anthem to call attention to our country's failure to live up to the ideals embodied in the Constitution, and represented by the anthem. But Lewis is not a U.S. citizen, and he should not be expected to perform a oblique gesture of solidarity just because he is part of the diaspora.

157

please no politics, there are no informed political opinions being reported on in the public sphere.
do not bring that ignorance into f1

158

Lewis isn't American so the whole Maelstrom of whether or not he will take an knee or not is a Maelstrom of his own making promulgated methinks by his concern for his number of followers on Twitter. That said, the movement that Colin Kirkpatrick started in the NFL is an outgrowth of a situation that, were it occurring in any other F1 country (Azerbaijan excluded), would warrant knees on the podium for any native driver. If police in your country were armed like ours are, regardless of their far too often racist predilections, and trained to shoot first and ask questions later, I would hope that you would support any movement (sporting or otherwise) to seek justice for those left to grieve over yet another "potential perpetrator" left lying in the street.

Sorry for the political diatribe - be glad if you're fortunate enough to not live in a country where issues like these are in your face on a daily basis. I really just want a Lewis vs Seb battle to the finish like at Spa.

159

Very well said. America is a great country, still the "indispensable nation", but it is in a fairly bleak place at the moment.

Most people just want to get on with their lives. At times like these though, it's up to the silent majority to not be silent, and make the necessary change happen.

160

It will be a long shot for Lewis to be drivers champion at Austin. I think the season will end with Lewis chipping away at the remaining points on the table knowing only multiple DNFs will cost him a championship. I do however, expect Mercedes to close out the constructor's championship on Sunday. Lewis and Bottas have outscored Sebastian and Kimi pretty consistently this year. Finally, with the NAFTA region being one of the big three market for Mercedes Benz I have no doubt the corporate bosses at Mercedes including Toto will allow for a political statement to distract from the teams fourth constructors championship.

161

I am not a Lewis Hamilton fan, but have to admit that he has handled himself well these past months and fully deserves the Title this year - whatever spin one puts on it he will take it comfortably as Seb cannot pull it back at this late stage. Lewis' response to the "kneeling" issue was completely correct. Like him I believe the campaign has great merit and Lewis expressed his support of it - BUT I believe when you visit someone else's "house" you respect that and behave accordingly.

162

He handled that well.

163

If they have not taken him to one side and told him he represents an auto maker and any symbolic act of solidarity can be twisted to harm the auto maker they are idiots.
He has been to various dictatorships this year without a hint of disquiet to harm
auto maker sales.

164

Yeah, like it or not but money rules the world!
And within F1 these days its all about the money!

165

this is what hamilton refers to as “bs”.

166

Think that's sensible from Hamilton. If here we to kneel during the national anthem of every country in the F1 calendar with a questionable human rights/equality record he's going to need some knee pads...

167

So, all that excitement and press about Hartley and he's got 30 place PU penalties as a welcome present?

168

And start attraction Max is taking PU penalties too apparently?

Suck it up American F1 fans. PU use limits mean races in second part of the season are the ones that are subject to penalties. Them be the facts.

169

Has he learned a lesson from SnapChat-gate at last years Japanese GP?
Was it not there that he, after engine blow up in Malaysia, got distracted completely from Thursday into the rest of the weekend?

And where Rosberg took advantage and gave a decisive blow?

I hope he has decided way in advance whether to TTK or not.
Because if he goes with that indecision to the front of the grid... how much distraction will that be. And he if gets completely booed... how does he carry that into the next minutes on the grid.

170

Jmv, how distracted was he? He missed out on pole by 0.013 seconds, did get a bad start, but recovered well to third, and was only kept out of second by Max's unique reading of the moving in the braking zone rules! Hardly a disaster, and of course he did follow it up with four straight wins and poles....

171

i see what you mean but hamilton dealt with the italian booing fans with dignity. i don’t think he’s scared of being booed..

172

Perez has seen his country insulted. What will he do on Sunday?

173

I think Hamilton is right to leave the issue. It is not his anthem and I am sure there are other ways he can show solidarity with this cause. As others have pointed out, there are potential political statements that could be made at almost every GP...are drivers expected to be mouthpieces for political campaigns everywhere?

174

So..! What exactly do we have for ourselves here?

The way I see it and have done since 2010, is that Vet had his time in the limelight but also that Ham is having his time there too. This state of affairs, by the time we arrive at Ado Dhabi, will pose an unanswerable question!
Which One is the better racer?
As far as I'm concerned both are four times World Champions, as Ham will win this Championship no doubt. So that gives us four races with which to clarify the query. Recently the Romantic Reds may have had their eye on the prize, which should render this race to the Brackley Bunch as the aforementioned really aren't too clever. They will need time to adjust and settle in but hopefully, after reading between all the lines, I see the final three races producing the rarity of evenly matched cars on a level playing field.

175

i only managed to read between some of the lines and couldn’t see how it’ll all end..

176

Poll result is in: 100% of JAon F1 fans think the USGP JAonF1 website top banner is better than Japan GP banner.

Makes me wanna sing that Team America song!

177

Is that an afternoon photo from the local Hooters family restaurant?
Look forward to seeing the late evening shots from same place.

178

Honda F1 V10 for sale. Only 10,000 GBP! Grab it fast and put it in your Civic, call it a Honda Civic F1...obviously.

http://www.roadandtrack.com/car-culture/a13043406/you-should-put-this-mugen-honda-v10-f1-engine-in-an-s2000/

179

A ten grand engine, that needs a hundred grand rebuild...

180

That's what you do with a Civic.

You put 100k aftermarket custom stuff into a 5k value car.

181

i don’t understand why americans would choose not to buy mercedes cars if hamilton took the knee in support of the movement. the idea of taking the knee is to encourage conversations about human rights, nothing to do with buying cars or not buying cars..

182

So who do you think is the core segment of Mercedes buyers in America?

183

hamilton sells more mercedes in america and all buyers influenced by hamilton will be supportive if he took the knee.

184

I am so glad Lewis is pushing this aside. He can take a knee, if that's how he ties his racing boot laces. Personally, I skooch down but ensure my knee doesn't touch the ground when I tie mine.

Let's go racing.

185

did you see his nasa tour?
together with his music, fashion and film industry presence you can say he’s head and shoulders above all f1 champions in terms the quality his interests. and some claim he is not that intelligent. he has no manager, decides what he associates with and is performing brilliantly at that..,no wonder he’s breaking all f1 records.

186

i bet it makes a lot of noice..

187

Go to link. Look at video of the Footwork testing. Not only are the camera angles killer, but yes, you can enjoy that....bitter sweet symphony, this F1.

188

nothing to enjoy there sebee.
check out peter norman..

189

Eyes on The Prize Lewis.
But can understand the the knee protest.
If he did it then that's okay too.
Politics and sport are interlocking as Putin and his team of doctors promoted to use of banned drugs.
So why why not the plight of people of colour in America.

190

For what it's worth, America may be misunderstood in many ways, depending on what source information comes from. That's o.k. because everyone has the ability to think and decide.

The link below is a commencement speech from a gentleman who understands more about what the U.S. has to offer everyone than any news outlet. This 6 minutes is well spent and the fundamental theme, to be as good as you can be, reflects what F-1 should provide. No apologies intended. Peace.

https://www.facebook.com/goalcast/videos/1585909778152873/

191

And why should he knee. He's not American, why should he knee in front of an American flag or during national anthem, whatever the reason is. Their country, their problems, their business.

192

It amazes me how we get such simplistic interpretation of "taking the knee".. "he's not American"..."not his Anthem"....

It's about what it represents - which is not just an American problem - racial injustice (systematic and institutional) and inequality.

I view any person in the public eye (be it white, black, asian etc) taking a knee is essentially joining a movement to, respectfully and peacefully protest agains said injustice (whatever country it happens to be in).

What I view that is wrong - and some way racist (but not totally owing to LH social media support) - is that LH is asked directly, purely because he is of mixed heritage/race (I personally hate that we class people into 'race').

Some posters talking about banning someone for making a peaceful protest because they naively view that politics has no place in sport!! Serious? It is through prominent figures like Muhammad Ali that the world noticed inequalities of the time or defining moment to like the "black power" salute during 1968 olympics and of course now. It simply gets those issues to the forefront and I fully support that.

Having said that, only thing I want to see is a great race and LH to emerge as the victor after a tight battle with Vettel. If LH, or any other driver, takes a knee I will respect their right to peacefully protest and their courage as it so easy to "keep politics out of sport" (although I would argue fighting for racial just is more than just "politics").

P.S. Sorry for long post with, most likely, huge amount of grammatical errors.

193

Supports a misguided movement that uses the American flag, the sacrifice of those who serve under it and the memories of those who died for it in an attempt to play the race card. Well done Lewis, fits right in with the entitled fool who started it.

I'm a white American, who served proudly in the military with people from every ethnic background. Race is a non issue for me, my family and every person I know. Also have a son who currently serves in the military and have ancestors who died in uniform. To me one of the more disgusting things the entitled, self important, media driven, politically correct U.S. has shown to the world. It's sad,,but inevitable the media even asked him about it, but the right comment was "no comment".

194

A misguided movement?!? Being against police brutality can never be misguided. If you mean kneeling at the anthem, I agree that I would prefer that people honour their nation's symbols. Sometimes though, people need to be made uncomfortable, to effect change. In the grand scheme of things, you being upset that the flag or anthem is not being properly respected, is small potatoes compared to people needlessly losing their lives because they appear a bit different.

195

Small potatoes? If you think I am the only previous or current member of the U.S. military that is offended you have your head in the sand. Uncomfortable? For Hamilton...or anyone else... to condone the disrespect of the rows of graves at Arlington or Normandy etc and those currently in uniform... ie the very people that provide the freedom to partake in such a "movement" is at its least flippant and worst just imbecilic. Small potatoes would be the number of police officers behaving badly compared to the honorable numbers who keep U.S citizens safe and it's society from complete collapse. Whatever the issue, using the flag and disrespecting the million plus who have died defending it is indeed misguided.

196

You say you were in the Military, so was I but in the British Army. Kneeling before the flag does not appear to be disrespecting the military living and those that have served and died normally or in service. I do not think it is small potatoes that unarmed people of any colour are shot by police who shoot first and ask questions later. When I was in Bosnia with the UN, the next time with NATO and Northern Ireland in 1979 we always had rules of engagement. Maybe the US police should have some, possibly better gun control would reduce the mass shootings and the gangland shootings.

197

You believe they are dishonouring past war dead through those actions. I don't agree. They are trying to make life better for their fellow citizens, which is a truly noble use of that hard-fought freedom.

Of course the number of bad cops is a small minority, but the damage wrought by those few is huge. I would think that the majority of fine law enforcement officers would be appalled at the reputational hit, and the increased general level of danger, that these bad cops have brought upon the whole. One would think that the majority would want to see the book thrown at the bad cops (and quite likely they do), but again and again it seems the thin blue line works to shield their worst from a proper reckoning. Classic self-defeating institutional behaviour.

198

Formula1 is a financial success because it is a spectacle. People pay to sit and watch at the event, around TV's, and on fones. Businesses sponsor teams paying untold millions for square inches to emblazon logos on what are 200mph billboards.

I find it hypocritical that a product so far reaching in terms of grabbing attention should not be used to highlight any worthwhile cause. Austin this year is bathed in pink. Breast Cancer awareness is spotlighted, and rightly so. How though is this different from highlighting deadly situations that affect a minority in the US? Doesn't systemic racism affect millions as well?

Whether HAM takes a knee or not won't matter to F1. F1 will go on. But consider this. A BERLIN SOCCER TEAM took a knee before their match to show solidarity with Kaepernick. At least that's what it looked like. And the American Anthem wasn't played. This was never about the Anthem. It was always about injustice. And that is something worthy of standing up for. By taking a knee.

199

We roughly have the same idea on the destiny of the championship. Let's see if the whether can provide addition drama. An unlikely new winner ?

200

My view is one of Great Respect for Lewis Hamilton, whether he takes the knee or not. There are far too many Athletes and Sportsmen who appear not to have a world view, who seem oblivious to the plight of others. Hamilton enters into a pantheon of Champions who actually matter, and make a difference. He has stated his broad support for the goals and principles of Blacks in the united states. Kneeling is not necessary. Win the race!

201

It's not his country, it's not his sport, it's not his flag, it's not his anthem.

Absolutely right to express solidarity with the cause, but that's as far as it needs to go.

202

Vettel only has to finish 5th or higher to take the fight to the next race!

203

Hamilton has only talked about taking a knee, and already there is some unhappiness and some discussion. We might say "mission accomplished", assuming he has a mission and not just an opinion.

I admire Kaerpernick and Co. Some things are bigger than a game, and sport cannot exist untouched by politics.

I admire Hamilton for at least showing signs of knowing what is going on in the greater world. Most F1 drivers don't even do that.

204

During the years of apartheid, I remember Alain Prost refused to race in South Africa with the blessing of Renault. I don't remember anyone getting upset.

205

As an American I respect Hamilton's opinion and am appalled that sport is politicized for the benefit of the insatiable media.

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