New Rule: Formula 1 Drivers Can’t Make Political Statements Without Prior Approval

The FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile), the governing body of most race car events, including Formula 1, has issued a new rule that bans drivers from making political statements without prior approval from the organization.

According to ESPN, FIA updated its International Sporting Code to include the new rule.

“The ISC has been updated in alignment with the political neutrality of sport as a universal fundamental ethical principle of the Olympic Movement, enshrined in the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Code of Ethics, together with the principle of the universality set out in Article 1.2.” FIA said in a statement.

“Additionally as stated in Article 1.2 of the FIA Statutes, the FIA shall promote the protection of human rights and human dignity, and refrain from manifesting discrimination on account of race, skin colour, gender, sexual orientation, ethnic or social origin, language, religion, philosophical or political opinion, family situation or disability in the course of its activities and from taking any action in this respect [sic].”

The federation continued, “The FIA will focus on underrepresented groups in order to achieve a more balanced representation of gender and race and to create a more diverse and inclusive culture.”

Lewis Hamilton caused quite a stir two years ago when he won the 2020 Tuscan Grand Prix. He appeared wearing a black t-shirt that called for the arrest of the police officers who killed Breonna Taylor in a botched “no-knock” raid. The front of Hamilton’s shirt could be read when he took the podium, “Arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor,” and the back of the T-shirt stated “Say her name.”

Following Hamilton’s T-shirt display, the FIA changed its post-race procedures. Drivers are only allowed to wear race suits that are closed up to the neck when they stand on the podium.

Over the past two years, several other competitors have made political statements.

Sebastian Vettel wore a T-shirt with Pride colors with the phrase “Same Love” on it at last year’s Hungarian Grand Prix. At the Canadian Grand Prix, he wore several T-shirts promoting environmental causes.

“Stop mining tar sands—Canada’s climate crime” the caption on the T-shirt read.