KIMI RAIKKONEN claims it’s “crazy to question” the six drivers who refused to take a knee at the Austrian GP.
Six-time world champ Lewis Hamilton led the 13 other drivers who did take a knee on Sunday, but hit back at claims he tried to force all 20 to follow suit.
Raikkonen said: “Everyone has a right to do what they feel like. It is a bit crazy sometimes to question things, but that’s how it goes unfortunately.
“All the drivers are definitely against racism.”
Hamilton wore a Black Lives Matter T-shirt, while the other 19 drivers donned End Racism ones.
And Raikkonen, 40, the 2007 champion, told Sky Sports: “I am more than happy to help on these things, but each individual has the right to do how they feel most comfortable.
“F1 and the teams are doing the best they can.”
It is not my goal to take a knee during a national anthem but I am focused on trying to win this championship and fighting for equal rights
Ahead of this weekend’s second GP in Austria, Brit Hamilton, 35, has vowed to continue to fight for racial equality.
Yesterday he declared: “I am not against taking the knee again.
“We really have to continue to speak out, to utilise the moment to spread awareness and continue to push for change and that’s not going to go away any time soon. I will do my utmost.
“It is not my goal to take a knee during a national anthem but I am focused on trying to win this championship and also fighting for equal rights.”
Renault’s Aussie driver Daniel Ricciardo, who did take the knee, defended those who chose to stand.
He said: “There was a bit of difficulty with some drivers and their nationality and what something like taking a knee would represent.”
Motor sport’s governing body, the FIA, wrote to both to remind them about acting responsibly as they attempt to maintain their record of zero positive coronavirus tests.
Drivers, teams, media and operational staff have all signed a Covid Code of Conduct and, while neither Leclerc or Bottas broke the rules, the decision to leave their “bubbles” angered paddock insiders.
Haas driver Romain Grosjean said: “The message was we had to stay here, so I was surprised to see people had gone home.”
Leclerc, 22, posted social media snaps of him hugging fans in an art gallery in his home principality after the Austrian GP, where he finished second.
Race-winner Bottas, 30, was filmed on a speedboat celebrating the birthday of girlfriend Tiffany Cromwell.
Leclerc said: “I’ve been tested twice before coming back — both negative.”
Bottas explained: “I found out if it’s allowed to go back, and yes it is.”
However, their tests were not part of the FIA programme.