Daniel Ricciardo and Charles Leclerc were among the first Formula 1 drivers to speak out about racial injustice following criticism from Lewis Hamilton.

Speaking on an Instagram post on Sunday evening, Hamilton claimed he “stands alone” in fighting racism in motorsport and urged his fellow F1 peers not to “stay silent in the midst of injustice”.

Hamilton was lending his support to the ongoing protests and the #BlackLivesMatter movement against racial injustice in recent days following the murder of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, by police in the US state of Minnesota on May 25.

Within hours of the six-time world champion’s post, a number of drivers also took to social media in a bid to help spread awareness.

“Seeing the news the last few days has left me saddened," Renault’s Ricciardo said on Instagram. "What happened to George Floyd and what continues to happen in today's society is a disgrace.

"Now more than ever we need to stand together, unified together. Racism is toxic and needs to be addressed not with violence or silence, but with unity and action.

“We need to stand up, we need to be a WE. Let's be better, people. It's 2020 ffs. Black lives matter.”

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc, who admitted he felt “out of place and uncomfortable” sharing his thoughts on social media, said on Twitter: "I still struggle to find the words to describe the atrocity of some videos I've seen on Internet.

“Racism needs to be met with actions, not silence. Please be actively participating, engaging and encouraging others to spread awareness. It is our responsabilities to speak out against injustice. Don't be silent.”

Like Leclerc, Red Bull’s Alex Albon conceded he was initially “hesitant” to express his views.

“Truthfully, I’ve been quite hesitant having a voice around George Floyd’s death because I felt I wasn’t in the position to talk,” the British-born Thai racer said on Instagram.

“I grew up in a very privileged way, shielded away from any form of racism, whether it was at school, in my neighbourhood or racing. I never experienced it and so I don’t really know how to put it into words.

“But I came to realise that this was part of the problem, staying silent wasn’t good enough and everyone should be able to experience how I grew up.

“With that being said, it’s never too late to change and to address what’s wrong, this is about justice and to stand up for racial equality.

“What happened to George Floyd is inexcusable, it’s a final straw for many and it’s our duty to reform and create a better world for all of us.”

McLaren duo Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris, Racing Point’s Sergio Perez and Williams pair George Russell and Nicholas Latifi were also among those to condemn racism.



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