Jul.18 (GMM) Carlos Sainz insists he will not be pressured to kneel for Black Lives Matter.
The McLaren driver is just one of a handful of his Formula 1 rivals who stand on the grid before races rather than kneel, which is becoming a widespread anti-racism gesture.
Lewis Hamilton is leading the political activism, revealing in Hungary that he met with the dissenting drivers like Sainz “just to have a chat”.
“I’d like to think that at some stage, we’ll all be together, understanding, taking a knee,” said the Mercedes driver.
But Spaniard Sainz insists he will not.
“I think it is no secret that Lewis is one of the most active athletes of the Black Lives Matter movement, which has led us all in a positive way to be a little more involved and aware of the problem of racism worldwide,” he told El Mundo Deportivo.
“Personally I have never felt pressured,” he said.
“I have felt independent and oblivious to the pressures there may have been in the paddock about how important it is to kneel or not at that moment.
“I have felt comfortable enough to do what I thought was appropriate and I will continue to do that,” Sainz added.
“There is not going to be anyone or anything that pressures me to do what I don’t feel comfortable doing. We have all shown unity against racism, but I think that everyone is free to demonstrate in the way that they want.
“I will continue to be free to do so, no matter how many people on social media question the fact that kneeling or not makes you less or more racist,” he said.