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McLaren back FIA clampdown on "out of control" political messaging

McLaren back FIA clampdown on "out of control" political messaging

F1 News

McLaren back FIA clampdown on "out of control" political messaging

McLaren back FIA clampdown on "out of control" political messaging

McLaren CEO Zak Brown has backed the FIA's clampdown on political messaging after getting "out of control at times" in recent years.

The FIA has banned drivers in any of its competitions, including F1, from making political statements at race events without having previously obtained written permission from the governing body.

This change to the International Sporting Code was greeted with a mixed reaction given the positive impact of campaigning led by Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel of late.

Speaking to ESPN, Brown said: "It's tricky, right? Because some of the topics are really good, some are controversial, some are polarising.

"I think in general we want to be a sport that is doing good. We just need to find a balance there and not have every start of a race being a new political agenda for someone.

READ MORE...FIA issue ban in further clampdown after Hamilton and Vettel statements

"I don't think that's healthy as it can detract from what everyone has tuned in to, which is they want to watch a grand prix."

Brown happy 'door left open' for drivers

The change to the ISC leaves a lot of questions with no clear sanction for a breach and no boundary as to what is classed as a political statement.

But Brown is confident this is a welcome middle ground, with drivers not outright banned from enjoying the freedom of speech while the FIA regains some control over the situation.

"I'm glad the door is open for drivers and teams to talk to the FIA if there's an issue they want to discuss," he added.

"It wasn't a 'You can't do it.' It was 'You can't do it without our permission.' So at least the door is open.

"Everyone is allowed freedom of speech. It did get out of control at times with so much messaging going on.

"Does it detract from the focus of the sport? These drivers can do this stuff in their own time, so I think it is within Formula One and the FIA's right to say here's the code of conduct we expect for you to follow during a grand prix weekend.

"You're free to do whatever you want to do Monday through to Friday, so to speak, but obviously it's at a grand prix weekend the drivers have the most cameras on them."

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