Lewis Hamilton: F1 Drivers Banned From Making Political Statements

Lewis Hamilton: F1 Drivers Banned From Making Political Statements

Martin Moses
updated at April 12, 2023 at 8:20 PM
  • A potential storm is brewing in Formula 1 after FIA banned drivers from making any statement before prior written permission
  • The new rule is set to affect seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton who has been at the forefront of advocating against social injustices
  • Hamilton, the only black driver in F1, has in the past rubbed shoulders with FIA for wearing T-shirts with strong messages

Formula 1 drivers have been banned from making any political statements of any kind without prior permission from the governing body, FIA.

The decision is set to put the FIA and record champion, Lewis Hamilton, at loggerheads as the Briton is known for speaking his mind on social injustices.

Lewis Hamilton, Formula 1, Sebastien Vettel, FIA ban
A group photo of F1 drivers during the Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit on November 20, 2022. Photo by Beata Zawrzel.
Source: Getty Images

Hamilton was vocal about the brutal killing of Breanna Taylor in 2020 and used his platform to advocate for justice for the 26-year-old. The FIA tweaked their rules at that time, banning drivers from wearing any other clothes apart from race suits.

Retired driver and four-time champion Sebastian Vettel has also been a strong champion of LGBTQ rights by wearing Pride helmets and T-shirts.

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New FIA rules

ESPN now reports that going forward, drivers will be banned from issuing any sort of statement. The FIA has added a clause in the International Sporting code that reads:

"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."

Hamilton is yet to respond.

The seven-time champion will be raring to reclaim his title next season after losing out to Max Verstappen for two consecutive seasons. Mercedes have added Mick Schumacher as their third driver after Hamilton and George Russell.

Charles Leclerc could ditch Ferrari for Mercedes

Sports Brief had earlier reported that there is trouble at the Ferrari camp, with reports emerging that main driver Charles Leclerc could be open to moving to Mercedes.

Leclerc finished in P2 behind Max Verstappen in the driver's championships, at the conclusion of the 2022 Formula 1 season.

His current contract with Ferrari runs until 2024, but the French driver has refused to rule out the possibility of joining other teams after a disappointing season. Leclerc began the season in dominant fashion but fell off the pace mainly due to Ferrari's poor strategy.

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Martin Moses
Martin Moses is a sports journalist with over five years of experience in media. He graduated from Multimedia University of Kenya (Bachelor of Journalism, 2017-2021)
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