FIA driver clampdown remains “unnecessary” despite clarification

The updated International Sporting Code issued before the 2023 season is now a violation of a rule related to high-level motorsport: “Making and displaying political, religious and personal statements or opinions in general, in particular in violation of the general principle of neutrality applied to decided by the FIA ​​under its Statutes, unless previously approved in writing by the FIA ​​for International Competitions, or by the relevant ASN for National Competitions within its jurisdiction.”

This found almost universal cdamn across the F1 paddock, with Red Bull team boss Christian Horner warning of the effects of turning humans into “robots” and McLaren’s Lando Norris referring to drivers treating them as “at school”.

On Friday, the FIA ​​issued a clarification on what is and is not allowed with the updated clause.

Mainly, drivers will be able to comment on personal, political or religious matters online, in selected interviews and when answering direct questions during press conferences.

But any speech is prohibited as part of the drivers’ parade, during the national anthems, on the podium and in the post-race cooling room.

When asked for his response to the FIA ​​bulletin, Bottas said he spoke for the rest of the grid when he insisted the changes to the ISC were “unnecessary” in the first place.

The Alfa Romeo driver said during a press conference on the opening day of pre-season testing in Bahrain: “I saw the clearance.

“Of course, there are things at least he made clear, but still I think it’s a bit unnecessary and I think I’m speaking for all the drivers.

“We haven’t had a (Grand Prix Drivers’ Association) meeting yet but we hope to have a discussion soon.”

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12

Photo by: Erik Junius

Alpine driver Esteban Ocon admitted he was unaware of the FIA’s clarification but said he would continue to “speak out on a matter that is important to me”.

Similarly, the boss of Mercedes-sport, Toto Wolff, considered that Lewis Hamilton would have a clear intention to continue his advocacy regardless of any tendency still against change.

Haas racer Kevin Magnussen said he would like to see free speech wherever he and F1 travel.

The Dane said: “It’s something we have to talk about as drivers and see what we think about it.

“I’m from a part of the world where free speech is a thing.

“I like that and I think that’s a good value and I want to see that everywhere I go.

“But the world is not always like that.”

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