Formula One drivers will no longer be allowed to make political statements at race events without prior permission from the FIA.
Motor racing’s governing body has added a new article to its International Sporting Code which outlaws “the general making and display of political, religious and personal statements or comments notably in violation of the general principle of neutrality promoted by the FIA,” unless permission is given beforehand.
In recent years, drivers have taken the opportunity to make statements before and after races.
Since the start of the 2020 season, Lewis Hamilton has often worn t-shirts carrying political slogans or messages. After winning the 2020 Tuscan Grand Prix, he wore a t-shirt saying “Arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor” on the front and “Say her name” on the back.
Hamilton’s decision to wear the shirt on the podium prompted the FIA to tweak its post-race procedures, with drivers now only allowed to wear race suits done up to the neck for podium and post-race interviews.
Sebastian Vettel was reprimanded for wearing a t-shirt with Pride colours and the phrase “Same Love” ahead of last year’s Hungarian Grand Prix. He and Hamilton have also worn Pride colours on t-shirts and helmets at race events in the Middle East.
Vettel also wore numerous t-shirts promoting environmental causes.
At the Canadian Grand Prix he wore a shirt saying: “Stop mining tar sands — Canada’s climate crime.”
Formula One drivers banned from making political statements