No more political statements for F1 drivers

The cars wait to go out in the Pitlane during qualifying for the Australian Formula One Grand Prix at Albert Park on March 19, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
The cars wait to go out in the Pitlane during qualifying for the Australian Formula One Grand Prix at Albert Park on March 19, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

OAN Roy Francis
UPDATED 5:37PM PT – Thursday, December 22, 2022

Formula One drivers will no longer be able to make any political statements unless they receive specific written permission to do so.

FIA, the governing federation of Formula One and other racing series, has updated its International Sporting Code for the 2023 season. The updates included a new article that stated political, religious, and personal statements will require written approval moving forward.

Drivers have been known to make political statements through their clothes in past years, this includes driver Lewis Hamilton, the seven-time Formula One champion, who wore a T-shirt that said “Arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor” in 2020.

Four-time champion Sebastian Vettel wore a rainbow-colored shirt with “Same Love” printed on the front in 2021.

These types of rule changes are not uncommon for the FIA. Before 2022, it had implemented rules regarding the kind of jewelry that drivers can and cannot wear.

As with any rule change, it was met with a mix of criticism and support. Those who oppose the new rule claimed that the FIA had no authority to take away that right from drivers, while supporters claimed that political opinions do not belong in the sports.