Monday, September 21, 2020
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Magnussen explains why he did not take a knee at British GP

Haas driver Kevin Magnussen opted against kneeling ahead of the British Grand Prix in order to distance himself from any political sentiments of groups such as Black Lives Matter, he said.

Ahead of the first race of the season, six drivers — Max Verstappen, Charles Leclerc, Kimi Raikkonen, Daniil Kvyat, Antonio Giovinazzi and Carlos Sainz — stood while their 14 rivals, including Magnussen, knelt. Magnussen joined those six in standing ahead of last weekend’s race at Silverstone.

The Danish driver, who made it clear ahead of the opening race that he was not kneeling to endorse any organisation or political group, elaborated on his decision ahead of the second race at Silverstone this weekend, the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix.

“l think in terms of standing or kneeling, I want to make sure that I’m with the messaging of ending racism,” Magnussen said. “I support that movement, and not any sort of political organisation that I think the Black Lives Matter movement is.

“I kind of just want to separate myself from that, and then push on with ending racism and that messaging, which I think is great that Formula 1 is doing and that all of the drivers are supporting.

“I’m just trying to do that, and that’s what I said before the second Austrian Grand Prix, let’s do what we continue to do.”

While Grand Prix Drivers’ Association director Romain Grosjean and reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton have expressed their hope to see all 20 drivers kneel together eventually, there are no rules around what drivers may or may not do before a grand prix.

FIA president Jean Todt has said it would be “inappropriate” to force drivers to kneel before a race if they did not wish to.

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