Lewis Hamilton will continue to take a knee in 2021

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Lewis Hamilton will continue to take a knee ahead of Formula One races this year in the hope it will spark more "uncomfortable conversations" on issues related to racism.

Throughout the 2020 season, F1 invited all 20 drivers to unite against racism ahead of the start of each race. Not all drivers kneeled, but they gathered on the starting grid and wore T-shirts featuring anti-racism messages.

For 2021, F1 will continue with the ceremony ahead of each race but will include support for wider social and environmental issues rather than a sole focus on anti-racism.

"I plan to continue to take the knee because I think what's really important is when young children are watching what we're doing here in this sport and when they see us taking the knee, they'll sit and ask their parents or teachers 'Why are they doing that? What are they taking the knee for?' and it sparks uncomfortable conversations," Hamilton said.

"It means parents have to educate themselves, and the kids are getting educated. So it's a fight that's not won, it's a fight that will continue on for a long time, I'm sure, but I definitely think we're in a good time where conversation is healthy."

Hamilton campaigned for racial equality throughout 2020 and set up a commission midway through the year to help increase the representation of Black people in British motorsport. He said the symbolism of taking a knee had been important to him on a personal level.

"I can't ignore the fact that last year weighed heavily on me -- as I get older and I'm understanding more, I'd like to think we all went through an educational phase last year," Hamilton said. "We're all learning more, there was a lot more discussion.

"I was watching more documentaries, I was reading a huge amount more, trying to educate myself on the things that are happening around the world, and that hasn't stopped. So, through the winter also. It definitely felt empowering to not be silent like some may want you to be.

"It definitely felt good, on the one side taking the knee on a personal level to let the Black community know that I hear you, I see you and I stand with you. That was important for me. But along the way there's so many things that we need to address around the world and naturally I can't fix everything, but I naturally want to help."