Daniel Ricciardo admits he was left feeling “naive” about his attitudes towards racism after Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton spoke out about the problem.

Hamilton criticised his fellow F1 drivers for remaining “silent” and not speaking out on the killing of George Floyd by a white police officer in the United States in May. Floyd’s murder sparked worldwide outrage and led to a number of protest marches and demonstrations.

The six-time world champion’s comments prompted a number of his rivals to lend their support towards the #BlackLivesMatter movement, including Renault’s Ricciardo.

Speaking in an interview with Sky Sports F1, the Australian revealed he made an active effort to educate himself more about discrimination and racial inequality - and says it has made him realise that staying silent is “part of the problem”.

"I've certainly learned a lot the last few weeks," Ricciardo said. "I've been reading, I've been watching, and it's certainly opened my eyes.

"I've learned that just because you might not be, or consider yourself, a racist or a person of conflict, that's not enough. You have to speak up, you have to educate yourself and others around you. Because what I've understood is being silent is kind of part of the problem really.

"I've watched quite a few videos, there's been so much circulating on Twitter, on Instagram. I felt... I don't know if it's guilty or, how could I be so naive to everything that's been going on? It's not only the last few weeks, it's been months, it's been years.

"It is good that finally I think more of the world is getting exposed to it, people are getting behind it, and also to understand that it's OK to speak up, and know that you're not going to be judged or criticised.

"I think because of the volume of everyone getting involved, and all racers getting involved, that's been really powerful.”

Ahead of the delayed start to the 2020 season, F1 this week launched its #WeRaceAsOne initiative to help push for change and recognise the wider social issues beyond the sport.

“I'm really happy and glad that all of us have been exposed to it and can understand more about it," Ricciardo added.

"I'm sure it breaks a lot of people's hearts having to learn about it and watch videos. Some things are so bad that you want to turn your phone off, but I find myself watching, kind of in disbelief. But then I'm like how could I have not known more about this?

"It's good, it's positive, and I think change is really happening."