Complete News World

Formula 1: Drivers fight back against muzzle teeth

According to the FIA, statements or signals are affected during the awards ceremony, the drivers’ review or even during official press conferences, provided that the drivers do not answer the direct question of the journalists. The governing body justifies its strictness with the general principle of impartiality to which the FIA ​​is subject as a member of the Olympic family. However, the background could also be that certain messages in the billion-dollar motorsport field could upset sponsors and organizers and thus harm the company.

Lewis Hamilton and other drivers have been highly critical of the FIA ​​track. “Nothing will stop me from expressing myself about the things close to my heart and the issues at hand,” said the record world champion from England. “Sport still has a responsibility to speak up and raise awareness about important issues, especially as we travel to all these different places. So nothing has changed for me.”

It’s part of freedom of expression.

Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate George Russell, who is also a Formula 1 Drivers’ Association board member, also resisted. “I can’t imagine they want to restrict any of us in our views. That’s part of freedom of expression. We have the right to express our opinions on whatever platform we want,” Russell said. He doesn’t know why the FIA ​​has taken “such a position.” I think that’s totally unnecessary in this sport and in the world we live in right now.”

IMAGO / HochZwei

Nor does Russell hide his thoughts

McLaren’s driver, Lando Norris, was intimidated. “We’re not in school. We shouldn’t be asking after all, ‘Can we do this? Can we do that?’” “We are mature enough to make wise decisions.”

No T-shirts with a political message

Hamilton and German Sebastian Vettel, who resigned at the end of last season, have caused an uproar in their political statements recently. Hamilton wore a T-shirt that read “Stop the cops who killed Breonna Taylor” after Mugello’s victory in 2020. It was reminiscent of the black American woman who was shot dead by police officers during an operation in her home months earlier. Then the FIA ​​banned the wearing of jerseys on the podium.

Lewis Hamilton at Mugello 2020

IMAGO / Motorsport Images / Charles Coates

The FIA ​​does not want to see images like this in the future

Political messages on the racetrack are prohibited by the regulatory authority in principle. However, since the beginning of 2020, the association has also allowed gestures to support the fight against racism instigated by drivers. Since then, the FIA ​​has spearheaded the same “We Race As One” campaign to combat inequality and improve sustainability.

“A talker for problems around the world”

“We know politics and behavior are sensitive areas but we need clarity from the FIA ​​on what they are trying to tell us,” Williams driver Alex Albon said. “A lot of people see us as a mouthpiece for issues around the world. I think it’s the driver’s responsibility to make people aware of these situations.”

In a longer catalog, the FIA ​​provides a number of examples of potentially prohibited message topics, gestures, or symbols. According to this, statements about parties and organizations are just as undesirable as statements about military conflicts or the oppression of minorities. Crossing Heaven and referring to it are exempt from the prohibition of religious messages.

The index of penalties ranges from a warning to a fine, the obligation to do social work, penalty periods, and disqualification from the race. “It would be ridiculous to say I want to be punished for speaking out on certain issues,” Hamilton said. “But I will continue to speak my mind.”

See also  Officially: Salzburg's assistant coach Aufhauser becomes coach of the Liefering team