Before the start of the season 2020, Formula 1 set up the #WeRaceAsOne campaign, which turned out to be a big fiasco. Formula 1 has thus fallen into the trap of political correctness, from which it will be very difficult to escape, and at the same time, it has become a hostage of sports greatest star Lewis Hamilton.
After the tragic death of Goerge Floyd, Hamilton became actively involved in the agenda of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, while also dragging the whole of Formula 1 with him. Hamilton accused F1 of not doing enough to battle racism. Sport and drivers, of course, responded, and we are now looking at a paradoxical situation where Formula 1 is struggling to prove its commitment to combating racial discrimination, even though it has never really been synonymous with any form of intolerance.
At Hamilton’s request, Formula 1 included a special ceremony in the protocol before the start of the races, in which the racers were supposed to kneel together and thus express their support for the fight against racism. It’s hard to understand that there’s someone in Formula 1 who obviously thought they were going to convince Kimi Raikkonen to participate. In addition to Finn, five other racers turned down the invitation, joined by Kevin Magnussen at Silverstone. The starting line is thus divided into those who kneel and those who do not, and the inscription #WeRaceAsOne consequently turns out to be somewhat comical.
At the same time, it is not entirely clear what Hamilton really wants. It’s hard to imagine that Formula 1 teams will start firing talented people just because they are white. All the team’s factories are located in Europe, where the majority of the population is white. We can be sure that all teams in their ranks want only the most talented engineering staff, regardless of their race, ethnicity, or gender. The introduction of any quotas in this direction would be both ethically and professionally highly questionable.
The same applies to racers. If Formula 1 were racist, Hamilton would hardly become the highest-paid driver in its history. Formula 1 is an elite class of motorsport, which includes the most talented racers, engineers, or mechanics in the world, regardless of their race, gender, etc.
Formula 1 got into a situation where it somehow became hostage to its first star. Hamilton leads the game, and F1 must do everything to prove to the world that it is not just a sport of rich whites with racist tendencies.