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Sunday, June 16, 2024

F1 Drivers Will Need Permission For Political Statements During Races

  • The FIA won’t let F1 drivers wear or make political statements during races unless previously approved.
  • The change was part of a new rulebook for the 2023 season.
F1 driver Lewis Hamilton in helmet with "We Stand Together" sticker
Mercedes AMG Petronas

The FIA is cracking down on Formula One drivers’ ability to use race events as a platform for political statements.

The sport’s international governing body has added an article to its 2023 rules saying that drivers can only make personal, political, or religious statements “notably in violation of the general principle of neutrality promoted by the FIA” if they get written permission first.

In a statement, an FIA spokesperson reportedly said the new rule was created to mirror a similar principle touted by the International Olympic Committee.

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The “principle of neutrality” was not clearly defined in the documents, though it’s safe to assume it will apply to multiple statements made regarding human rights and inclusivity.

In the last few years, multiple drivers have worn items in support of various human rights causes. Lewis Hamilton, for example, has worn symbols supporting LGBTQ+ rights. 

The FIA has attacked drivers for wearing certain items before, however. 

Sebastian Vettel faced sanctions for wearing a pro-LGBTQ+ shirt at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Hamilton has also worn a shirt protesting police brutality against Black Americans — which caused the FIA to prohibit drivers from unzipping their race suits while on the podium.

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