The first Grand Prix of the F1 season behind closed doors and under the sign of the anti-racism

Le premier Grand Prix de la saison de F1 à huis clos et sous le signe de l’antiracisme

Photo: Mark Thompson Pool via Agence France-Presse
The riders from the team Mercedes, which belongs to the winner of the Grand Prix, Valtteri Bottas, feature of this season of the combinations of black support in the fight against racism.

The departure of the first Grand Prix of the season 2020 Formula 1 was given on Sunday at 15: 10 on the circuit of Spielberg (Austria), after more than three months late due to the coronavirus.

Just before, fourteen of the twenty drivers, including the British Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) wearing a T-shirt ” Black Lives Matter “, have taken a knee on the ground on the starting grid, as a sign of support to the fight against racism. All the others were dressed in T-shirts hit the words “End Racism” (end to racism).

In front of the stands empty, the Finnish Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) started from pole position and quickly widened the gap in the head. After 20 laps, it was Hamilton, who took this year’s first opportunity to equal the record of seven titles, the German Michael Schumacher, and the Thai Alexander Albon (Red Bull).

The Dutch Max Verstappen (Red Bull) was out of the race after technical difficulties.

Hamilton was also the actor as an unintended confusion of last minute before the start, scooping a penalty of three places on the grid within an hour of the lights due to an error in qualifying.

Encouraged by the British, the first driver of black of the category, several drivers and teams, as well as the F1 and the international automobile Federation (FIA), has taken a stand recently against racism following the death of George Floyd at the hands of police officers in the United States at the end of may.

The Mercedes boast this season a black livery in support. The paddock and the cars are decorated this week-end arc-en-ciel in tribute to the struggles against racism but also against the COVID-19.

Sunday, the choice had been left up to the drivers to express themselves in their own way, their commitment in this sense.

Initially planned for 15 march in Australia, the start of the season has been shifted to the beginning of the month of July. Only eight Grands Prix listed in the provisional calendar, while the promoter of the championship (Formula One) wish to schedule between 15 and 18, instead of 22.

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