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Lewis Hamilton has ‘no plans to take a knee’

US Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton has 'no plans to take a knee'

Updated 6:41 AM ET, Fri October 20, 2017

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Lewis Hamilton (left) and Sebastian Vettel have been engaged in one of most exciting championship battles of recent years. <br /><br />Click through the gallery to see how the 2017 Formula One season has played out.  Photos: The story of the season so far …Vettel vs. Hamilton – Lewis Hamilton (left) and Sebastian Vettel have been engaged in one of most exciting championship battles of recent years.
Click through the gallery to see how the 2017 Formula One season has played out. Hide Caption 1 of 17The German took the checkered flag at the season opener in Melbourne leaving Hamilton and the Briton's new Mercedes teammate -- Valtteri Bottas -- trailing in his wake.<br /><br /><strong>Drivers' title race after round 1</strong> <br />Vettel 25 points<br />Hamilton 18 points<br />Bottas 15 points<br /> Photos: The story of the season so far …Melbourne: First blood to Vettel – The German took the checkered flag at the season opener in Melbourne leaving Hamilton and the Briton's new Mercedes teammate — Valtteri Bottas — trailing in his wake.
Drivers' title race after round 1
Vettel 25 points
Hamilton 18 points
Bottas 15 points
Hide Caption 2 of 17Hamilton pats his Mercedes car after it propelled him to victory at the Shanghai International Circuit. It was his fifth career win in China and saw the Briton draw level on points with Vettel who came home second. Red Bull's Max Verstappen was third. <br /><br /><strong>Drivers' title race after round 2</strong><br />Vettel 43 points<br />Hamilton 43 points<br />Bottas 23 points Photos: The story of the season so far …Shanghai: Hamilton fights back – Hamilton pats his Mercedes car after it propelled him to victory at the Shanghai International Circuit. It was his fifth career win in China and saw the Briton draw level on points with Vettel who came home second. Red Bull's Max Verstappen was third.
Drivers' title race after round 2
Vettel 43 points
Hamilton 43 points
Bottas 23 pointsHide Caption 3 of 17Vettel prevailed in Bahrain after Bottas had claimed a maiden pole in qualifying. During the race Hamilton was handed a five-second stop-go penalty for holding up Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo in the pit lane. Vettel took full advantage eventually cruising to a comfortable win. <br /><br /><strong>Drivers' title race after round 3</strong> <br />Vettel 68 points<br />Hamilton 61 points<br />Bottas 38 points<br />  Photos: The story of the season so far …Sakhir: Vettel shines under the lights – Vettel prevailed in Bahrain after Bottas had claimed a maiden pole in qualifying. During the race Hamilton was handed a five-second stop-go penalty for holding up Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo in the pit lane. Vettel took full advantage eventually cruising to a comfortable win.
Drivers' title race after round 3
Vettel 68 points
Hamilton 61 points
Bottas 38 points
Hide Caption 4 of 17After claiming a first-ever pole in Bahrain, Bottas (far right) soared to a maiden F1 victory at the Russian Grand Prix. A fast start enabled the Finn to overtake the two Ferraris at the front of the grid. Vettel chased Bottas hard all the way to the line to claim second. Hamilton finished fourth. <br /><br /><strong>Drivers' title race after round 4</strong> <br />Vettel 86 points<br />Hamilton 73 points<br />Bottas 63 points Photos: The story of the season so far …Sochi: Bottas scores maiden win – After claiming a first-ever pole in Bahrain, Bottas (far right) soared to a maiden F1 victory at the Russian Grand Prix. A fast start enabled the Finn to overtake the two Ferraris at the front of the grid. Vettel chased Bottas hard all the way to the line to claim second. Hamilton finished fourth.
Drivers' title race after round 4
Vettel 86 points
Hamilton 73 points
Bottas 63 pointsHide Caption 5 of 17After missing out on a podium in Russia, Hamilton roared back to the top step at the Spanish Grand Prix. The Briton was overtaken by Vettel at the start but Hamilton fought back, dramatically overtaking his title rival later in the race to take the checkered flag. Red Bull's Ricciardo took third -- his first podium of the season after Bottas suffered an engine failure.<br /><br /><strong>Drivers' title race after round 5</strong><br />Vettel 104 points<br />Hamilton 98 points<br />Bottas 63 points Photos: The story of the season so far …Barcelona: Hamilton reigns in Spain – After missing out on a podium in Russia, Hamilton roared back to the top step at the Spanish Grand Prix. The Briton was overtaken by Vettel at the start but Hamilton fought back, dramatically overtaking his title rival later in the race to take the checkered flag. Red Bull's Ricciardo took third — his first podium of the season after Bottas suffered an engine failure.
Drivers' title race after round 5
Vettel 104 points
Hamilton 98 points
Bottas 63 pointsHide Caption 6 of 17Vettel's teammate Kimi Raikkonen claimed his first pole in nine years at Saturday's qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix but it was the German who prevailed in the race after the Finn had led in the early stages. Vettel assumed the lead after pitting slightly later than the Finn and never looked back. Ricciardo finished third with Bottas fourth. Hamilton, meanwhile, who had started 13th on the grid, finished the race in sixth.<br />  <br /><strong>Drivers' title race after round 6</strong><br />Vettel 129 points<br />Hamilton 104 points<br />Bottas 75 points Photos: The story of the season so far …Monte Carlo: Vettel takes third win of season – Vettel's teammate Kimi Raikkonen claimed his first pole in nine years at Saturday's qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix but it was the German who prevailed in the race after the Finn had led in the early stages. Vettel assumed the lead after pitting slightly later than the Finn and never looked back. Ricciardo finished third with Bottas fourth. Hamilton, meanwhile, who had started 13th on the grid, finished the race in sixth.
Drivers' title race after round 6
Vettel 129 points
Hamilton 104 points
Bottas 75 pointsHide Caption 7 of 17After a disappointing showing at Monaco, Hamilton produced a driving masterclass in Montreal. In qualifying, he took his 65th career pole -- equaling Ayrton Senna's mark -- before bossing the race, crossing the line 20 seconds ahead of teammate Bottas while Ricciardo pipped Vettel to third. <br />  <br /><strong>Drivers' title race after round 7</strong><br />Vettel 141 points<br />Hamilton 129 points<br />Bottas 93 points Photos: The story of the season so far …Montreal: Hamilton cuts Vettel's lead – After a disappointing showing at Monaco, Hamilton produced a driving masterclass in Montreal. In qualifying, he took his 65th career pole — equaling Ayrton Senna's mark — before bossing the race, crossing the line 20 seconds ahead of teammate Bottas while Ricciardo pipped Vettel to third.
Drivers' title race after round 7
Vettel 141 points
Hamilton 129 points
Bottas 93 pointsHide Caption 8 of 17A chaotic race in Azerbaijan saw both Vettel and Hamilton miss the podium for the first time in 2017. The pair clashed on track during a Safety Car period from which Ricciardo ultimately profited. The Aussie's unlikely win was the fifth of his career, while Williams' teenager driver Lance Stroll (right) took third to become the youngest F1 rookie ever to make the podium.<br /><br /><strong>Drivers' title race after round 8</strong><br />Vettel 153 points<br />Hamilton 139 points<br />Bottas 111 points Photos: The story of the season so far …Baku: Stroll makes history as title rivals clash – A chaotic race in Azerbaijan saw both Vettel and Hamilton miss the podium for the first time in 2017. The pair clashed on track during a Safety Car period from which Ricciardo ultimately profited. The Aussie's unlikely win was the fifth of his career, while Williams' teenager driver Lance Stroll (right) took third to become the youngest F1 rookie ever to make the podium.
Drivers' title race after round 8
Vettel 153 points
Hamilton 139 points
Bottas 111 pointsHide Caption 9 of 17Bottas gave another example of why Mercedes chose him to replace Nico Rosberg at the German team. The Finn dominated the Austrian Grand Prix weekend -- qualifying in pole before keeping Vettel at bay in the race. Hamilton who started from eighth on the grid battled back to fourth. <br /><br /><strong>Drivers' title race after round 9</strong><br />Vettel 171 points<br />Hamilton 151 points<br />Bottas 136 points Photos: The story of the season so far …Spielberg: Bottas scores second win – Bottas gave another example of why Mercedes chose him to replace Nico Rosberg at the German team. The Finn dominated the Austrian Grand Prix weekend — qualifying in pole before keeping Vettel at bay in the race. Hamilton who started from eighth on the grid battled back to fourth.
Drivers' title race after round 9
Vettel 171 points
Hamilton 151 points
Bottas 136 pointsHide Caption 10 of 17Hamilton was simply unstoppable at the British Grand Prix, qualifying more than half-a-second quicker than the Ferraris before delighting home fans with a commanding win. Both Vettel and teammate Raikkonen suffered punctures late in the race. Raikkonen recovered to finish third, but Vettel could only manage seventh, slashing his championship lead over Hamilton to a single point.<br /><br /><br /><strong>Drivers' title race after round 10</strong><br />Vettel 177 points<br />Hamilton 176 points<br />Bottas 154 points Photos: The story of the season so far …Silverstone: Hamilton dominates home race – Hamilton was simply unstoppable at the British Grand Prix, qualifying more than half-a-second quicker than the Ferraris before delighting home fans with a commanding win. Both Vettel and teammate Raikkonen suffered punctures late in the race. Raikkonen recovered to finish third, but Vettel could only manage seventh, slashing his championship lead over Hamilton to a single point.
Drivers' title race after round 10
Vettel 177 points
Hamilton 176 points
Bottas 154 pointsHide Caption 11 of 17Another race, another twist as this time Ferrari took the honors with Vettel leading teammate Raikkonen home, followed by the two Mercedes. Hamilton finished fourth after letting Bottas through for the final podium spot -- the Finn had let the Brit past earlier in what turned out to be an unsuccessful bid to chase down the two Ferraris.<br /><br /><strong>Drivers' title race after round 11</strong><br />Vettel 202 points<br />Hamilton 188 points<br />Bottas 169 points Photos: The story of the season so far …Budapest: Vettel bounces back – Another race, another twist as this time Ferrari took the honors with Vettel leading teammate Raikkonen home, followed by the two Mercedes. Hamilton finished fourth after letting Bottas through for the final podium spot — the Finn had let the Brit past earlier in what turned out to be an unsuccessful bid to chase down the two Ferraris.
Drivers' title race after round 11
Vettel 202 points
Hamilton 188 points
Bottas 169 pointsHide Caption 12 of 17Hamilton equaled Michael Schumacher's all-time pole record of 68 at the Belgian Grand Prix and then fended off a challenge from Vettel in the final 10 laps to take the checkered flag and his third career victory at Spa Francorchamps.<br /><br /><strong>Drivers' title race after round 12</strong><br />Vettel 220 points<br />Hamilton 213 points<br />Bottas 179 points Photos: The story of the season so far …Spa: Hamilton makes F1 history – Hamilton equaled Michael Schumacher's all-time pole record of 68 at the Belgian Grand Prix and then fended off a challenge from Vettel in the final 10 laps to take the checkered flag and his third career victory at Spa Francorchamps.
Drivers' title race after round 12
Vettel 220 points
Hamilton 213 points
Bottas 179 pointsHide Caption 13 of 17After trailing Vettel all season, Hamilton finally got his nose in front in the drivers' championship showing a zen-like composure at the Italian Grand Prix. Ferrari, however, had a weekend to forget on home soil. A poor qualifying in wet conditions was followed by a frustrating race. Vettel did squeak onto the podium behind the Mercedes duo, but his title lead had slipped away.  <br /><br /><strong>Drivers' title race after round 13</strong><br />Hamilton 238 points<br />Vettel 235 points<br />Bottas 197 points Photos: The story of the season so far …Monza: Hamilton wins in Ferrari's back yard – After trailing Vettel all season, Hamilton finally got his nose in front in the drivers' championship showing a zen-like composure at the Italian Grand Prix. Ferrari, however, had a weekend to forget on home soil. A poor qualifying in wet conditions was followed by a frustrating race. Vettel did squeak onto the podium behind the Mercedes duo, but his title lead had slipped away.
Drivers' title race after round 13
Hamilton 238 points
Vettel 235 points
Bottas 197 pointsHide Caption 14 of 17Disaster strikes for Ferrari in Singapore as both Vettel and Raikkonen crash out on the opening lap -- Raikkonen hit his teammate after colliding with Max Verstappen at the start. Lewis Hamilton, who started from fifth, avoids trouble and quickly assumes the lead which he holds to the checkered flag. The win, his third at the Singapore GP extends the Briton's lead over Vettel to 28 points. <br /><br /><strong>Drivers' title race after round 14</strong><br />Hamilton 263 points<br />Vettel 235 points<br />Bottas 212 points Photos: The story of the season so far …Marina Bay Street Circuit: Ferrari crashes out – Disaster strikes for Ferrari in Singapore as both Vettel and Raikkonen crash out on the opening lap — Raikkonen hit his teammate after colliding with Max Verstappen at the start. Lewis Hamilton, who started from fifth, avoids trouble and quickly assumes the lead which he holds to the checkered flag. The win, his third at the Singapore GP extends the Briton's lead over Vettel to 28 points.
Drivers' title race after round 14
Hamilton 263 points
Vettel 235 points
Bottas 212 pointsHide Caption 15 of 17Max Verstappen celebrates after a superb victory at the Malaysian Grand Prix. The Red Bull driver had endured a miserable run of luck in 2017 with seven retirements in the 14 previous grands prix.  But any disappointment was banished in Malaysia as he sped to a second career F1 win. The Dutchman, who turned 20 on September 30, was already the <a href="http://edition.cnn.com/2016/05/15/motorsport/spanish-grand-prix-max-verstappen-lewis-hamilton-nico-rosberg/index.html">youngest-ever F1 race winner</a>. With victory in Malaysia he is now the second youngest winner too.     <br /><br />Lewis Hamilton was a distant second to Verstappen with Daniel Ricciardo finishing third. Sebastian Vettel crossed the line in fourth after starting in last place, which all means that Hamilton extends his championship lead over Vettel to 34 points.  <br /><br /><br /><strong>Drivers' title race after round 15</strong><br />Hamilton 281 points<br />Vettel 247 points<br />Bottas 222 points Photos: The story of the season so far …Sepang International Circuit: Verstappen makes more history – Max Verstappen celebrates after a superb victory at the Malaysian Grand Prix. The Red Bull driver had endured a miserable run of luck in 2017 with seven retirements in the 14 previous grands prix. But any disappointment was banished in Malaysia as he sped to a second career F1 win. The Dutchman, who turned 20 on September 30, was already the youngest-ever F1 race winner. With victory in Malaysia he is now the second youngest winner too.
Lewis Hamilton was a distant second to Verstappen with Daniel Ricciardo finishing third. Sebastian Vettel crossed the line in fourth after starting in last place, which all means that Hamilton extends his championship lead over Vettel to 34 points.
Drivers' title race after round 15
Hamilton 281 points
Vettel 247 points
Bottas 222 pointsHide Caption 16 of 17Lewis Hamilton took a giant step towards a fourth world title at the Japanese Grand Prix. The Briton led from start to finish to scoop his eighth win of the season while Sebastian Vettel suffered a DNF, limping out with engine issues at the start of the race. The Red Bull pairing of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo enjoyed another good weekend, finishing second and third respectively. <br /><br />Hamilton's victory means he now has a 59-point lead with four races remaining and will clinch the 2017 drivers' championship if he outscores Vettel by 16 points at the US Grand Prix in Austin on October 22.<br /><br /><strong>Drivers' title race after round 16</strong><br />Hamilton 306 points<br />Vettel 247 points<br />Bottas 234 points<br /> Photos: The story of the season so far …Suzuka: Hamilton closes in on fourth title – Lewis Hamilton took a giant step towards a fourth world title at the Japanese Grand Prix. The Briton led from start to finish to scoop his eighth win of the season while Sebastian Vettel suffered a DNF, limping out with engine issues at the start of the race. The Red Bull pairing of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo enjoyed another good weekend, finishing second and third respectively.
Hamilton's victory means he now has a 59-point lead with four races remaining and will clinch the 2017 drivers' championship if he outscores Vettel by 16 points at the US Grand Prix in Austin on October 22.
Drivers' title race after round 16
Hamilton 306 points
Vettel 247 points
Bottas 234 points
Hide Caption 17 of 17f1 2017 championship vettel hamiltonf1 2017 season australia f1 2017 hamilton china f1 2017 championship bahrain f1 2017 championship bahrain bottasf1 2017 championship spain hamilton f1 2017 championship vettel monaco f1 2017 championship hamilton canada 2f1 2017 championship azerbaijan f1 2017 championship austria bottasf1 2017 championship hamilton great britain f1 2017 championship vettel hungaryf1 2017 championship hamilton belgium f1 2017 championship hamilton italy f1 vettel raikkonen crash singaporemax verstappen wins malaysia gp red bullf1 hamilton japanese grand prix win podium

Story highlights

  • Hamilton expresses support for athletes protesting racism
  • But says 'I have made no plans to take a knee'

(CNN)Lewis Hamilton has expressed his support for athletes protesting social and racial injustice in the US, but insisted he has "made no plans" to take a knee ahead of Sunday's Austin Grand Prix.

On the verge of clinching his fourth Formula One world title, Hamilton has previously said he felt it was important to "try to make a difference in the world — particularly if your leader is not helping in that area." The Briton has also referenced the movement instigated by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in a series of Instagram posts, using the #TakeAKnee hashtag. Follow @cnnsport

However, speaking at Thursday's media conference, the 32-year-old Hamilton, who is the first and only black driver in F1 history, stressed his attention was focused squarely on the race. "I am in support of the whole movement and I have made no secret of that," Hamilton told CNN's Amanda Davies in answer to her question as to whether he would take a knee when the US National Anthem was played. "But I am here to focus on my job this weekend. I have made no plans."Read MoreIn recent months the line between sport and politics has been increasingly blurred after President Donald Trump criticized NFL players who kneel doing the US National Anthem to protest police brutality."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," said Hamilton at the drivers' media conference. "I've worked hard to be where I am today."READ: Athletes, activists spar on kneeling National Anthem protests');$vidEndSlate.removeClass('video__end-slate–inactive').addClass('video__end-slate–active');}};CNN.autoPlayVideoExist = (CNN.autoPlayVideoExist === true) ? true : false;var configObj = {thumb: 'none',video: 'sports/2017/10/19/jenson-button-life-to-the-limit-formula-one-f1-mclaren-lewis-hamilton-intv.cnn',width: '100%',height: '100%',section: 'domestic',profile: 'expansion',network: 'cnn',markupId: 'body-text_15',adsection: 'cnn.com_worldsport_motorsport_inpage',frameWidth: '100%',frameHeight: '100%',posterImageOverride: 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The Mercedes driver has won four of the five races since the summer break, opening up a 59-point lead over leading rival Sebastian Vettel with just four races remaining. Vettel's title bid stalled after a spark plug failure at Suzuka, meaning the Championship is already out of the German driver's hands. Hamilton needs to score 16 more points than Vettel, which means if Hamilton wins Sunday he will become world champion if the 30-year-old German finishes sixth or lower. 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An F1 fan's tour of Austin 04:04Should Hamilton finish second in Austin, he will need Vettel to finish ninth or lower to secure the title which would make him Britain's most successful driver. "Sebastian has been a strong fighter all year," Hamilton told reporters, insisting he is taking nothing for granted. "He has had a few issues technically but the car is as good as it's always been. I anticipate [Ferrari] will be very strong this weekend and for the next four races.READ: These are the NFL players protesting Trump criticismVisit CNN.com/motorsport for more news and features "I have to keep the pressure on; there is no reason to back out. I have to keep pushing forwards."Original Article

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