After having a 45 minutes talk over the phone, Romain Grosjean clears air with fellow F1 driver Lewis Hamilton. It all started when the Haas driver suggested no need for continuation of taking a knee before every race. According to him, the show of unity at the season’s opening was enough to show solidarity with Black Lives Matter movement.
The French-Swiss national later apologized for his remarks. “I’m sorry if I said anything wrong. I didn’t want to create anything. So, no, there’s no Netflix episodes, there is no problem. I said something that I shouldn’t have said, and then… you know I’m sorry for the team. And all good.”, said Grosjean.
However, this apology wasn’t enough for Hamilton. Following Hungarian GP, the six-time F1 world champ targeted Grosjean without naming him. After the race, he told the media, “Many people seem to be of the opinion that they’ve [knelt] once and they’re not going to do it again. And I don’t know all the reasons for that opinion,”
The Briton also went on to add, “Formula 1 did an OK job I would say at the first race. It’s not good enough in terms of what you see in other sports, but still it was a step forwards.” Clearly all these remarks were targeted towards Grosjean.
However, the good news is everything is cleared between the two drivers. Ahead of British GP, Grosjean revealed the phone call information and told the media he had a good chat with the Mercedes driver. He also admitted his stance was wrong. But, after Hamilton’s comment, a part of social media tagged him as a racist which was upsetting for Grosjean.
“It was a good chat with Lewis,” I said sorry, maybe I did it the wrong way, but I felt that I had to do it at the time.” said the Haas driver. He also added, “In the GPDA, we work on the majority vote system, and I felt that if I wasn’t, as one of the directors, listening to the drivers who were not happy to carry on, I wasn’t doing my duties.”
“It was a really good phone call and I also said I wasn’t very happy that the media [tales] came out, and on my social media there were a lot of things about racism and that I am a racist and whatsoever, which is absolutely wrong.”
“I was one of the first ones to support, and to push, that we take the knee. I’m still hopeful that one day we will get 20 drivers to take the knee on the grid, and that it will happen at one point.” said Grosjean.
After settling the differences, Hamilton and the GDPA are thinking of having a formal protest this weekend at Silverstone. The liberty media and the FIA will be helping them out with the protest. Grosjean said and I quote,
“It’s hard for us drivers to organise things over an event, because you know we’ve got many things to look at. So we wanted more guidance from Liberty and a clear procedure, before the race, as we did in Austria race one.”
So I think things are changing quickly between the two drivers. And, this is best for both of them as well as the Formula One community.