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Lewis Hamilton has expressed his regrets over his inability to offer his support to Collin Kaepernick at the 2017 United States Grand Prix.

Ahead of the 2020 opener in Austria, majority of the Formula 1 drivers took a knee in support of the #BlackLivesMatter movement.

Lewis Hamilton believes that this is an opportunity to try and influence a change in the world after revealing that he was told to back down when he tried to support Collin Kapernick’s action in 2017.

He said: “There has been awareness on the subject over the last few weeks and we don’t need it to die a silent death and see no change.

“I can be the guinea pig and keep speaking out. All of us, myself included, we have to be accountable.

“This started with NFL player Colin Kaepernick. He sat down for the US national anthem. He sat down and received a backlash…

“I spoke to him before the [2017] US Grand Prix and I had a helmet made in red with his number on the top.

“But I was silenced and told to back down. I supported that decision which I regret.

“So it was important for me to make sure I played my part this time and, moving forward, whether there is going to be an opportunity to take the knee, I don’t know.”

Kepernick was heavily criticized after he decided to sit down for the US national anthem in a pre-season game in 2016 in protest against racial abuse and police brutality against in US.

He then Knelt for the anthem in subsequent matches for San Francisco 49ers which eventually caused him his career.