F1 announces pre-race 'moment for important issues' & reviews kneeling against racism


Rainbow logo is dropped as Formula 1's #WeRaceAsOne campaign now includes sustainability and community projects, in addition to tackling the sport's lack of diversity

F1 drivers kneel in an anti-racism gesture ahead of the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix

Pre-race gesture will no longer just focus on racism

Dan Istitene/F1 via Getty Images

Formula 1 drivers may no longer kneel solely in protest against racism, but will instead take part in a pre-race “moment to show united support for important issues”.

The unifying rainbow logo will also not be seen in 2021, after being adopted last season in response to the Covid pandemic and Black Lives Matter campaign as part of the #WeRaceAsOne initiative.

The change is meant to reflect a broader campaigning focus for Formula 1, which says that the #WeRaceAsOne slogan now incorporates sustainability and “community” actions.

F1’s commercial rights holders, FOM said that the campaign was originally created to recognise the pandemic and social inequality, when racing resumed last summer.

“We used our restart to show that we as a sporting community stand united against racism and are doing more to address inequality and diversity in Formula 1,” said FOM in a statement.

“This was highlighted at every race with the twenty drivers uniting in their support of ending racism before the start of the race.

“We plan to include a moment before the start of each race this season to show our united support for important issues and will be discussing this with the drivers and the teams ahead of the start of the season.

“This season the rainbow will no longer feature alongside the #WeRaceAsOne platform.”

The campaign will now include projects to develop sustainably-fuelled hybrid engines, reduce single-use plastics at races; provide internships and apprenticeships to under-represented groups; and leave a “positive and lasting community impact” in regions where races are hosted.

WeRaceAsOne rainbow logo on F1 safety car

Rainbow logo will not be used by F1 in 2021

Darko Bandic/Getty Images

Also included is a pledge to grow awareness and support for W series and other initiatives that support talented up-and-coming female drivers.

F1 has also reiterated its aim to reduce the carbon emissions from transport, with new freight methods and more remote operations.

However, it did not announce any specific targets in these areas.

“Our WeRaceAsOne platform was very effective at raising the awareness of socially important issues and our steadfast commitment to make a positive change,” said Stefano Domenicali, F1’s CEO.

“While our commitment through words to tackling issues like sustainability and diversity in our sport are important, it is our actions that we will be judged on.

“We have already made good progress on our sustainability plans and you will see strong actions being executed this year across all three of our WeRaceAsOne pillars [sustainability, diversity & inclusion, and community].”