Former Formula 1 boss, Bernie Ecclestone has claimed Lewis Hamilton is “being used by the Black Lives Matter movement” over the Formula One star’s anti-racism stance.
The 90-year-old motorsport mogul took aim at the politicisation of the sport and also said he would have ban Formula One drivers from taking a knee before races and would stop them from wearing anti-racism t-shirts on the podium if he were still in charge.
Recall Hamilton spoke out against racism issues within F1 in the wake of the death of George Floyd in police custody in the United States last year.
The 36-year-old British racer knelt before races to show his solidarity with the Black Lives Matter and wore the anti-racism movement’s T-shirts on the podium as he won his seventh world title triumph.
In a wide-ranging interview with Telegraph ahead of the start of the 2021 F1 season, Ecclestone said: ‘I’ve said to his father, “Lewis needs to be careful”. Because he’s being used by the people who are supporting this Black Lives Matter and they are taking a lot of money from it. And nobody knows where it goes.’
‘If I’d still been around there wouldn’t have been anyone wearing [anti-racism] t-shirts on the podium, that’s for sure.
‘One hundred per cent, there wouldn’t have been this business of kneeling before races.’
Last year, Hamilton branded Ecclestone “ignorant and uneducated” after the business magnate said he was “surprised” to hear that the driver had been affected by racism within the sport.
Ecclestone also hit back at Hamilton’s criticism, claiming the Mercedes star had misunderstood him.
He said: “I agree we need to give more people a chance. Don’t forget I was the first person to put a black guy in a Formula 1 car. And I supported him and have supported an awful lot of black people. But Lewis is entitled to his view.
“But I’ve said to his father, ‘Lewis needs to be careful’. Because he’s being used by the people who are supporting this Black Lives Matter and they are taking a lot of money from it. And nobody knows where it goes.”