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FIA issue ban in further clampdown after Hamilton and Vettel statements

FIA issue ban in further clampdown after Hamilton and Vettel statements

FIA issue ban in further clampdown after Hamilton and Vettel statements

FIA issue ban in further clampdown after Hamilton and Vettel statements

The FIA has decided to ban those competing in sanctioned competitions from making political statements without prior written permission from the governing body.

Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel have previously led the way in the F1 paddock by shining a light on political, social and environmental issues at a number of races in recent years.

In particular, both drivers have shown support for the LGBTQ+ community in countries where there is extreme prejudice or where homosexuality is deemed illegal.

Hamilton also caused a stir with his campaigning for the 'Black Lives Matter' cause, famously wearing a t-shirt on the Tuscan Grand Prix podium in 2020 that read: 'Arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor'.

On the back was a picture of her face and the caption 'Say her name'.

This resulted in the rules for the podium procedure being altered to ensure drivers wore only their race suits done up to the neck during the ceremony.

But now, the FIA has inserted an additional article into the updated version of the International Sporting Code.

Article 12.2.1.n states that '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 under its Statutes, unless previously approved in writing by the FIA for International Competitions, or by the relevant ASN for National Competitions within their jurisdiction'.

Article 12.2.1.o adds: 'Failure to comply with the instructions of the FIA regarding the appointment and participation of persons during official ceremonies at any Competition counting towards a FIA Championship'.

The ban means drivers will be required to obtain FIA clearance for anything that could be viewed as a political statement.

This potentially includes helmet changes for certain causes and even the wearing of shoelaces in rainbow colours, viewed as a common sign of support for the LGBTQ+ community.

FIA clarify ISC change

Prior to the changes being made to the ISC, it has been normal for a dialogue to take place prior to any public statement of a political nature.

In a statement, an FIA spokesperson said: "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.

"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.

"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."

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