Drivers will no longer be allowed to take a formal knee before Formula One races

Drivers will no longer be allowed to take a formal knee before Formula One races

Stefano Domenicali, the CEO of Formula One, has stated that drivers will no longer be allowed to take a formal knee before races, emphasising that it is now time for “action” to improve diversity in the sport.
For the past two seasons, Britain’s Lewis Hamilton and other drivers have knelt in front of every race in a display of solidarity against racism.
The designated period will be removed from F1’s pre-race programme for the new season, which begins in Bahrain next month.
The sport on Tuesday announced it was extending its funding commitment to the Formula One engineering scholarship programme for under-represented groups until 2025. And it will carry on screening an anti-racism message ahead of every race.
“We needed to make sure that what we did was important to show the intention of Formula One in things that were really important for the world,”  F1 president and chief executive Domenicali told Sky Sports.
“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.”
It is understood that drivers will still be allowed to kneel at another stage before the start of the race, possibly by their cars.
Domenicali’s remarks come just days after Hamilton all but confirmed he would return to the grid, ending his social media silence following last year’s controversial title decider in Abu Dhabi.
Hamilton’s F1 future had been clouded in uncertainty following Max Verstappen’s championship win but he tweeted on Saturday: “I’ve been gone, now I’m back.”
“There was a total respect on his choice to be on silent mode,” said Domenicali.
“I think he will be fully charged for the start of the season.”
He added: “Lewis has in front of him a possibility to be an eight-time world champion.
“So I’m sure he is totally focused on these objectives because this year there will be so many new things, so many variables, that will allow this championship to be so attractive.”

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