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F1 "moves on" from taking the knee

NEWS STORY
08/02/2022

Stefano Domenicali reveals that the taking the knee ceremony before races is to be dropped though the sport will continue to push for greater diversity.

The ceremony was introduced to F1 in 2020 as part of its We Race as One campaign amidst the global reaction to the death of George Floyd and the subsequent focus on the Black Lives Matter movement.

Drivers were invited to take the knee in solidarity with the movement, a gesture first taken by NFL star, Colin Kaepernick, though some opted to stand during the ceremony.

Speaking to Sky Sports, F1 boss, Stefano Domenicali has revealed that the official ceremony is to be dropped this season though the drive for greater diversity continues.

"I think the gesture has been an important gesture because we need to respect everyone, as always," he said. "But now is the time to move on and take some other action.

"We needed to make sure that what we did was important to show the intention of Formula 1 in things that were really important for the world," he added. "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."

His comment comes as F1 confirmed that it will extend its funding commitment to the Formula 1 Engineering Scholarship programme for underrepresented groups until 2025, continuing its drive to increase diversity within the sport.

The scholarships were launched last year, following a US$1 million donation from Non-Executive Chairman of Formula 1 Chase Carey. The programme has so far successfully supported 10 students, who have begun placements in their undergraduate and postgraduate engineering degrees at leading universities in the UK and Italy.

Each scholarship covers the full cost of a student's tuition, together with living expenses, for the full duration of their degree. The programme will now be extended for a further four years, enabling scholarships to be offered to 10 more students each year from 2022 to 2025 inclusive.

"We are committed to increasing diversity and opportunity within this incredible sport," said Domenicali, "and I am pleased to confirm that we will be expanding our programme for scholars until 2025, providing fantastic opportunity for some incredibly talented students to begin their journeys with Formula 1.

"We want to continue to ensure that talent from underrepresented groups has meaningful opportunities, with the first 10 scholars already beginning their studies following Chase's incredible donation to fund the scholars in their first year. We want to continue and build on the foundations of the programme in the years ahead."

The decision to drop the official 'knee ceremony', comes days after Lewis Hamilton returned to social media, thereby easing fears that he had walked away from the sport.

"I saw the last picture was a light of positivity on his face and his gesture," said Domenicali. "I think that is important because Lewis is an incredible asset not only for our sport but for the world."

"There was a total respect on his choice to be on silent mode," he added. "I think he will be fully charged for the start of the season. 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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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by alvarezh3, 10/02/2022 12:15

"I am all for peaceful demonstrations, I consider them part of what democracy is all about, but -depending on their message- there is a time and a place for them. Sports venues (all of them) were never built for the purpose of staging them, I hope they keep them out."

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by Max Noble, 10/02/2022 8:12

"@Spindoctor - A flawless source is the only source, especially when applying sauce… :-)
@Egalitarian - Humble apologies. Many a rushed-pun can result in punctuation nightmares, let alone all those mis-constructed sentences! I’m blaming Liberty Media for me-a channeling my inner American ;-) "

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3. Posted by Egalitarian, 10/02/2022 2:30

"Try as we might, we cannot eradicate politics from anything. Sadly, this even stretches to basic scientific principles as witnessed these past few years.
Something to ask oneself - is sports-washing a thing? My feeling is that it is. I would suggest it is possible/likely that people look away from things that would normally disappoint them at best, and perhaps disgust them at worst, and people look away because it is a sport/activity they love. This can be tough to deal with. I am not as enthusiastic about F1 as I used to be, but I tune in to see what's going on in the Middle East and China, but deep down I know that their respective human rights records are pretty poor. It creates a real tension and I often feel like a hypocrite. If one doesn't care about that stuff, that's fine - that's a position you hold, but my feeling is that one shouldn't go hard on someone who does care about other people.
Anyway, enough of that - @max noble... even in jest I find it difficult to read "...I think we are going good.' It's like being the US - aaarrggghhh!"

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4. Posted by Spindoctor, 09/02/2022 22:32

"Perfectly reasonable for F1 to cease "taking the knee". I think that the point has been made & I'm pleased to see that like Lewis Hamilton FIA is doing something constructive to help disadvantaged young people.
I see Max Noble has, as usual, tapped up a seemingly unimpeachable source, let's hope nothing was lost in translation.. "

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5. Posted by Editor, 09/02/2022 11:41

"@ Superbird70

We have the lawsuits - thankfully all abandoned - as proof that we do not yield to unseen or seen powers.

In 20 years I think we've only once been forced to issue an apology."

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6. Posted by Wokingchap, 09/02/2022 11:20

"So is it at the discretion of the drivers, or is it banned? I rather hope the latter."

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7. Posted by Superbird70, 09/02/2022 11:06

"@Editor- Save for the odd spelling correction, I have never seen this website adjust its articles once posted. To clarify, my previous posting was directed towards other sites reporting on F1 that seem to answer to some unseen power and not Pitpass."

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8. Posted by Max Noble, 09/02/2022 9:33

"@Editor - Compared to the back flips the media is performing while trying to love the Winter Olympics, and cursing China simultaneously I think we are going good… I’ve not got God’s mobile number, but St. Peter assures me fresh holy water has been sent to Ferrari to bless them for a fine season. Is that large, and reliable?"

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9. Posted by Editor, 09/02/2022 8:45

"To be 100 percent, absolutely crystal clear, Pitpass is not in the habit of amending quotes to fit an agenda.

Nor do we "misplace", "lose", "vanish" or "whitewash".

The quotes we used in our piece were taken directly from the Sky website, the originators of the interview, and accordingly credited.

There was absolutely no mention of the "politics" quote mentioned below on the Sky site..

If there had been we would have used it indeed, since F1 has been doing politics for the last two years, we would have included it on our headline.

To infer that we deliberately misplaced, lost, vanished or whitewashed the comment is to question the integrity of this site and the author.

One can only thank God, that there are "large and usually reliable sources" one can go to."

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10. Posted by Simon in Adelaide, 09/02/2022 7:39

"Firstly, good; as far as I am concerned sport and political posturing never go well together.

Secondly, (and I could be very wrong here) I get the distinct impression from the various sub-editor's [......] that are found in the main stream media reporting that Stefano's words may have been badly translated because his use of English is not that bad."

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11. Posted by Superbird70, 09/02/2022 2:41

"@kenji, yup. Although I still found a couple with my quote and one with your quote. Most have been whitewashed. I don't have access to the posted Sky interview (wrong region) so we'll go with your quote."

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12. Posted by kenji, 09/02/2022 0:20

"2 Superbird 70....most sites have now vanished the full comments but one 'large and usually reliable source has maintained the original Sky interview comments, which are, 'we have to not have to do politics'. Rather puts a different slant on things. IMO. Roll on '22."

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13. Posted by Superbird70, 08/02/2022 15:35

"I saw this quote, “No, I think that what we said [is] we do not have to do politics." Rather puts a different slant on things.IMO"

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14. Posted by kenji, 08/02/2022 14:11

"Sorry for double dipping here but it appears that in a great many reports on this issue the media have strangely misplaced some of the interview comments. They have been 'lost' apparently because when Sky asked Domenicali if the drivers would still be able to take the 'knee' he replied ' No. i think that what we said is we do not want to have to do politics'. Rather puts a different slant on things.IMO.




n
. i think that what we have said is we do not want to have to do politics'."

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15. Posted by kenji, 08/02/2022 13:25

"Why has it taken so long? Thank you and thank you again."

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