Lewis Hamilton's focus is winning US GP, dismisses protest against Donald Trump
The controversy surrounding the NFL players 'kneeling down' during the US National anthem reached Formula 1, when Lewis Hamilton took upon social media to voice his opinion.
The Mercedes driver took the side of the players, going against the US President Donald Trump - even hinting that he would kneel down as well during the US Grand Prix.
However, Hamilton clarified his stance during the press conference, insisting that his sole focus this weekend remains to win the grand prix, dismissing any idea of protest.
"I don’t really have a position and I don’t have any plans," said Hamilton, when asked if he will take a knee during the anthem. "There has been a lot of mention of it – not of the kneeling, but just of the whole situation here in America, so I get to speak to a lot of.
"I know black and white people that live here in America, so I get quite a view of what’s happening here in the States and opinions from Americans here about the movement, which I think is pretty huge, and which you’ve seen that I’ve posted about it.
"Because I respect it highly, and I found that the movement that [Colin] Kaepernick started is awesome and I’m very much in support of it. But I’m here to win and that’s the top of my priorities at the moment and I’m not really focused on anything else at the moment."
The aforementioned social media post was taken down with Mercedes boss Toto Wolff also feeling that Hamilton should be careful in choosing the medium to protest against such a high profile personality.
The British driver seems to have realised Wolf's point, since he made it clear on Thursday, that while he has opinions, but to him winning the race and the title is more important.
"I’m here to win. That’s my focus. I don’t really plan on allowing all the BS that’s surrounding the topic pull me down in my strive to winning this world title.
"I’ve worked hard to be where I am today and whilst I do have opinions and feelings towards the whole situation, as I’ve said, at the moment, no plans on doing anything," he said.
Hamilton does have a chance of sealing the title in Austin, if rival Sebastian Vettel finishes sixth or below - but he shot down the prospects, stressing that winning US GP is his immediate goal, and the title can come anytime, as long as he gets it.
"Honestly, I think the talk of the Champion win this weekend I think is silly really. I mean, Sebastian is going to be… you can’t expect them to have a difficult weekend again," he said.
"They’re going to be quick, they have an opportunity to win. The Championship, as long as it’s done in the next four races, that’s my focus. I honestly couldn’t care less if it’s here on the last race, as long as it’s done.
"I think winning here is the most important thing for me, particularly in the midst of all that’s going on in the country. I think that is a priority for me. You know what I’m talking about. "
When asked if he felt the title was delivered to him on his plate, with all the blow-ups by Ferrari, Hamilton had a stern response: "If I was to win this Championship I think I would say that I’ve earned it."