The FIA has outlined how Formula 1’s pre-race anti-racism stand will go ahead at the British Grand Prix to provide “clarity and reassurance” for drivers.
F1 came under fire from reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton over how the anti-racism demonstration was carried out at the Hungarian Grand Prix, following criticism that it was rushed and poorly organised.
After calls for better organisation from Hamilton and his fellow drivers, F1 and the FIA have taken action by revealing plans for an official ceremony similar to the one held at the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix.
Drivers will be provided an audio instruction to walk to the “carpet runner” wearing their ‘End Racism’ T shirts at 13:52.30 BST. A banner with the same message will be placed across the track and the drivers will stand by their name card.
This will be followed by an announcement at the circuit that “Formula 1 and the FIA will take this moment, in recognition of the importance of equality and equal opportunity for all”.
Afterwards, drivers will be invited to make a gesture of support of their choosing, which may include taking a knee, as Hamilton has done at each of the opening three rounds.
Among the gestures recommended include “taking the knee”, “standing on carpet with arms crossed in front or behind them”, “standing on carpet and bowing head”, “standing on carpet and pointing to the words ‘end racism’ on their t-shirts”, “standing on carpet and place their hand on the heart” or “anything else a driver may feel comfortable to do”.
Hamilton and GPDA director Romain Grosjean have made it clear they would like all 20 drivers to take a knee by the end of the season.
The ceremony will end after 30 seconds with the statement: “Thank you for this statement of support to end racism in the world.”
In a note to drivers, F1 race director Michael Masi wrote: “I hope the above is clear and provides some clarity and reassurance to the drivers.
“The FIA, F1 and F1 teams’ communication directors will continue to manage the media expectations on how this gesture will be marked, and that each driver is united in the call to end racism and will choose their own gesture at the determined time to mark this.”
After the national anthem a two-minute ‘Thank you NHS’ Spitfire flyover will be conducted in acknowledgement of the UK’s health service efforts throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. There will also be a minute’s applause on the grid.