Formula 1: FIA ​​clarifies free speech rule after backlash from Lewis Hamilton and drivers

Formula 1: FIA ​​clarifies free speech rule after backlash from Lewis Hamilton and drivers

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Last updated: 2/17/23 4:29 PM

The FIA, which governs Formula One, has said drivers will only be allowed to make political statements in “extraordinary” circumstances after trying to sort out their controversial new law.

The sports governing body recently updated its rules to prevent “political, religious or personal” statements from being made without prior authorisation.

However, the FIA ​​has drawn fierce backlash from a number of drivers – seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton this week insisted he will not be silenced and Lando Norris is accusing F1 rulers of treating drivers like schoolchildren treat.

In a bid to clarify the law – which threatens to cast a shadow over the new season – the FIA ​​has responded with a three-page document sent to the 10 teams on the grid on Friday.

The document says drivers can still “express their views on political, religious or personal matters.”
“their own space” and outside of a race, via their social media channels or during an interview.

However, drivers face penalties if they break the law on the track – for example during the national anthem before a race or on the podium.

But in an apparent move to appease growing unrest, the FIA ​​said that in “extraordinary” circumstances it “may authorize a competitor to make a statement at an international competition that would otherwise be prohibited,” with a motion that four Case is filed weeks in advance.

It adds that the driver must “give reasons why such a permit should be granted” and that each request will be assessed “on a case-by-case basis”.


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