Why some F1 drivers may opt against taking a knee at Austrian Grand Prix

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Formula One's drivers say they are unified in the anti-racism message the sport is promoting, although some may opt against taking a knee ahead of Sunday's Austrian Grand Prix.

On Saturday the Grand Prix Drivers' Association (GPDA), made up of all 20 drivers, said competitors would have "the freedom to show their support for ending racism in their own way and will be free to choose how to do this" ahead of the opening race of the 2020 season. There have been discussions around drivers taking a knee -- as seen ahead of Premier League and Bundesliga games in recent weeks -- to show support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

However, when discussed at Friday's drivers' briefing at the Red Bull Ring, some drivers said they may not be comfortable with kneeling.

When asked if some drivers will opt against taking a knee, GPDA director Romain Grosjean said: "That's correct. Some are not keen to take the knee."

Grosjean explained that there was a difference in opinion over the meaning behind the kneeling gesture, with F1's grid represented by 15 different nationalities. Renault's Daniel Ricciardo elaborated on this further when he was asked about the Friday discussions.

"The chat yesterday with the drivers was essentially just ... all of us are 100% on board with supporting it and ending racism, none of us are anti this [idea]," he said. "We all support that.

"I think there was some difficulty with some drivers and their nationality and what something like taking a knee would represent. The reasons why we will do is purely to support Black Lives Matter, it's got nothing political or anything else, but there is a little bit of a fine line with some drivers and their nationalities and how it is perceived."

After qualifying on Saturday reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton, the sport's only Black driver, was asked about whether he felt support from his 19 fellow drivers, to which he said: "We spoke a bit in the drivers' briefing.

"Yep. Interesting. But it was good that we're kind of all at least in discussion. I don't know what we'll see tomorrow. I think potentially people paying their respects in their own ways."

Hamilton said he has yet to decide what he will do to and is likely to decide on Saturday evening.

Ricciardo said no driver would be singled out or criticised based on what they decide to do because all 20 are unified in the wider anti-racism message.

"We heard all of them, we heard everyone's opinion," he said. "We're not going to try and put anyone in jeopardy, and we'll do what we feel comfortable with. No one is going to be judged or criticised if they don't stand there in a certain way or take a knee. The intention is for us to support it, and we'll probably show that as a unit and then if a few of us choose to do something extra then that will be the case."

Haas driver Kevin Magnussen confirmed he will kneel before the race but clarified that he is not doing so in support of a particular organisation, but the wider anti-racism message.

"I think it's something that there's been a lot of talk about and it's a difficult one because there's always going to be people who interpret it in different ways," Magnussen said.

"I am going to take a knee but not because I'm supporting the BLM organisation, I'm just supporting the whole movement that the whole world seems to be coming together for ending racism. That's what I'm for, and that's what I'm trying to show tomorrow by kneeling.

"I hope that the kneeling part isn't owned or whatever by one particular group or organisation, I hope people will see it as a symbol of support for the whole movement that is going on at the moment for ending racism and discrimination."