Hamilton denies 'silent' criticism was aimed at F1 drivers after Floyd death

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Lewis Hamilton denies a social media post slamming the "silent" response to George Floyd's death was aimed at other Formula 1 drivers.

The six-time world champion has been praised and criticised for his Black Lives Matter activism in the wake of the fatal incident between Floyd and Minneapolis police back in May.

However, in the days following the event, Hamilton called out the "white-dominated sport" for "staying silent" on the matter, something that triggered a wave of reaction from fellow drivers and teams.

But asked about that post ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix, he denied they were the people his criticism was aimed at.

"Ultimately, people perceived it as that I was targeting drivers, I really wasn't," Hamilton said in a video for Mercedes' parent company Daimler.

“It was targeted at the whole industry. It's been something I've been aware of for a long, long time, and not really seen anyone do anything about it.

Lewis Hamilton Valtteri Bottas

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"In today's world where we all have a platform to be able to utilise our voice, we all have these followers, our voices are very powerful.

"If you're not a part of trying to encourage people to get out there and understand what this situation is, and why we're in this situation, then for me, that's frustrating," he added.

"People being silent is something I've experienced for such a long time, and it's not the time to be silent. This is a time to help spread the message, to pull together. We need as many voices as we can to promote push for change.

"That was really a calling to people within the industry for accountability, for all the brands. They need to do more. This sport needs to do more. The FIA need to do more.

"We all need to do more. That was really what the message was about.”

Since then, Hamilton himself, Mercedes, F1 and the FIA have all launched efforts to improve diversity in motorsport through the Hamilton Commission and a new Task Force.

Mercedes have gone a step further by changing their iconic Silver livery to Black, something instigated by a phone call between Lewis and team boss Toto Wolff.

Still, there are those who argue that the lack of diversity in motorsport is due to other reasons and not racism.

“It is a very expensive sport, that’s definitely an underlying factor,” Hamilton conceded.

“But the truth is that the opportunity is not the same, not only from the drivers’ point of view, but with engineers.

“There’s so many great jobs and opportunities within our sport. But the opportunity is not the same for minorities to get through.

“That’s why I put together this commission, to try to understand why that is the case: why they’re not coming through, why they’re not finishing university.

“You can’t change what you don’t know and I think that’s the issue.

“Lots of people have opinions of why there are no other black drivers, why there are not many people of colour within our sport, but no one truly knows what are the root causes," he insisted.

“That’s what the goal is with this commission that I’m trying to put together, which is a lot of work, but I really, really hope that it can have a real positive change.”