Lewis Hamilton says clinching victory at the United States Grand Prix is “the most important thing to me” as his message in the current tensions in America, as he confirms he won’t be taking a knee during the national anthem.

After reports emerged that Hamilton was considering following the recent NFL protests led by Colin Kaepernick’s movement of taking a knee during the national anthem, the Formula 1 world championship leader moved swiftly to deny this but supports protests against police brutality and more recently against US President Donald Trump.

Hamilton instead plans to provide his own message by solely focusing on of a sixth win at the US GP, and fourth in a row at the Circuit of the Americas, to edge closer to the 2017 F1 world title as he leads the drivers’ championship by 59 points from Sebastian Vettel.

"I think winning here is the most important thing for me, particularly in the heat of all that is going on in this country. I think that is a priority for me," Hamilton said. "I know a lot of people here in America, both black and white people who live in America, so I get quite a good view of what is happening and opinions here in the States about the movement which I think is pretty huge.

"I’ve posted [on social media] about it because I respect it highly and I find the movement that Kaepernick started is awesome. I’m very much in support of it. I am here to win and that is part of my priority at the moment and what I am focused on at the moment.

"I am here to win, that is my focus, and I don’t plan to allow all the bullshit that surrounds the topic pull me down in my strive to win this F1 world title. I’ve worked hard to be where I am today. While I do have opinions and feelings towards the whole situation I have no plans to do anything at the moment."

While Hamilton is eager to win in Austin he hasn’t aligned those goals with sealing the F1 world championship at the circuit where he clinched his 2015 title. Mathematically, the US GP represents Hamilton’s first opportunity to seal a fourth world championship but needs to win the race and Vettel to finish sixth or lower – something he calls a “silly” expectation given Ferrari’s pace this year.

"I think the talk of the championship win this weekend is silly," he said. "You can’t expect them [Ferrari] to have a difficult weekend again, they are going to be quick and will have an opportunity to win. The championship, as long as it is done in the next four races, that is my focus."



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