The Formula One season continued on Sunday with the Hungarian Grand Prix. The drivers set out to highlight racial inequality as part of a continuing demonstration but struggled to present a unified message. Sky Sports reporter Ted Kravitz saw the botched display and voiced his frustrations. He went off on a rant, targeting drivers and executives alike.
Kravitz drew attention when he highlighted the issues with the pre-race demonstration. He noted that Lewis Hamilton, winner of the Hungarian GP, kneeled alongside Sebastian Vettel, but there was a distinct lack of coordination. Kravitz explained that F1 has voiced its support of the ongoing demonstrations against racism and that it's not a big thing to get right. However, he called the efforts on Sunday "a shambles."
Go at them, Ted pic.twitter.com/Cv03nMb3t3— Ky (@FiftyBucksss) July 19, 2020
"Formula One has to try and get this EndRacism message sorted out," Kravitz said. "[...] for a sport that counts itself as a slick operation and survives and thrives on split-second timing, it was just another mess." Kravitz continued and explained that he was watching from the grandstand and saw four drivers show up late after Hamilton kneeled. He said that they were "clearly not united at all."
This is not the first time that F1 drew frustration for its handling of the EndRacism display. Prior to the Styrian Grand Prix, the drivers kneeled in order to protest racism, but the cameras only briefly showed the display. The feed instead cut away to footage of someone skydiving.
Hamilton echoed Kravitz's frustrations while speaking to Sky Sports. He criticized F1, as well as Grand Prix Drivers' Association director Romain Grosjean. Hamilton said that the director "doesn't think it's important to do — he's one of them that thinks it was done once and that's all we need to do.
Hamilton continued and explained that he tried to speak to Grosjean about the ongoing displays. He said that this issue of racism is not going away and that the drivers have to continue fighting for equality. Despite previous claims of support, Hamilton said that the EndRacism display did not come up during the pre-race meeting.
"I think this time he didn't mention anything in the drivers' briefing and neither did Sebastian [Vettel]," Hamilton said. "Sebastian and I messaged each other and he stressed as did I the importance that we continue to do it. I think moving forwards we need to speak to Formula 1, they've got to do a better job."
As he said, the entire display happened during a major rush. The drivers had to get out of their cars and quickly run over in order to take a knee. They did not have an ample amount of time to get anything done prior to the national anthem.
"I don't know why they've only done it for the first race, they did the start, they've not done it since then," Hamilton continued. "They've come out saying they're going to be fighting for diversity and end racism but they're not giving us the platform to continue to do that. It's all rushed. I think they can give us more time, so I'll probably send an email over the next couple of days, and try and co-ordinate with them because they want to do it, I guess there's not good enough communication."