Lewis Hamilton says he was “not distracted” by his involvement in Formula 1’s stand against racism at last weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix and insists he does not need to refocus in the title fight.

Hamilton, who has championed F1’s push for greater diversity and equality as the sport’s only black driver, was one of 13 drivers who took a knee during a moment’s silence to support anti-racism before the 2020 season-opener in Austria last weekend.

The Briton is aiming to equal Michael Schumacher’s all-time record of seven world championships this year but his title bid got off to a disappointing start when he finished fourth in the first of two consecutive races at the Red Bull Ring.

While Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas converted pole position into victory, Hamilton was left fourth after being hit with a time penalty for clashing with Red Bull driver Alex Albon. As a result, the reigning world champion sits 13 points adrift of Bottas in the championship.

“I don’t feel like I need to refocus,” Hamilton replied when asked if his pre-race actions had distracted him from his on-track goal.

“If you watch the race you will see that my race was pretty strong. I do naturally need to do a better job over the weekend but I wouldn’t say I was distracted by any means.

“I continue to stay focused as I was before. Staying focused on both fighting and trying to win this championship but also fighting for equal rights.”

And Hamilton explained that time restraints would dictate whether he kneels again ahead of this weekend’s Styrian Grand Prix.

“This weekend I don’t believe we have that position ahead of the national anthem, whether we have the space and the time to utilise the moment and make a stand,” he said.

“I don’t believe that’s there now, so we will probably go to the national anthem and it’s not my goal to take a knee during the national anthem.

"It was really encouraging to see at least one of the teams taking a knee, I think it was the Red Bull team, I thought that was great,” he added. “So, if we have time maybe there’s something my team and I could do.

“It’s just about time and there’s not a lot of time before the race. What I do think is important though is that people of colour don’t really have the time to just have this as a small moment and then go back to things as normal.

“We have to continue to speak out, we have to continue to utilise the moment to spread awareness and try to push for change. That’s not going to go away any time soon, that’s not going to go in just a couple of weeks. I will do my utmost.

“I’m not against taking the knee again, so if I can find a way of making sure it doesn’t get in the way of us doing our job, then I will.” 

Hamilton also revealed he was previoysly warned of "potential consequences" for racing at the 2017 United States Grand Prix with a helmet paying tribute to Colin Kaepernick, forcing him to abandon the plan. 

"I was advised from outside, from someone in the States who was really quite high up, that it wasn't the time for me to be doing so," Hamilton explained. 

"There were potential consequences for me doing it. So that's why they advised me not to do it.

"I don't remember who else was involved. It's not particularly important. I do still have that helmet that I've done for Colin, and I did speak to Colin about it who was super supportive.

"I'm grateful that I was able to do it last weekend [take the knee], and continue on the great movement I think he initially started [that] so many are continuing on today."