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F1 drivers handed "personal agenda" warning by FIA

F1 drivers handed "personal agenda" warning by FIA

F1 drivers handed "personal agenda" warning by FIA

F1 drivers handed "personal agenda" warning by FIA

Mohammed Ben Sulayem has made it clear the FIA will not tolerate the F1 drivers using motor sport's world governing body to make political statements for their own "private personal agenda".

FIA president Sulayem's remarks follow the introduction in late December of a new regulation that drivers now have to seek written permission from the FIA should they wish to make or display political, religious or personal statements.

The FIA has warned that without such authorisation, sanctions will be issued.

Speaking to the media at the Dakar Rally, Ben Sulayem said: "We are concerned with building bridges.

"You can use sport for peace reasons but one thing we don't want is to have the FIA as a platform for private personal agenda. We will divert from the sport.

READ MORE...FIA make F1 teams demand after General Motors move

"What does the driver do best? Driving. They are so good at it, and they make the business, they make the show, they are the stars. Nobody is stopping them.

"There are other platforms to express what they want. Everybody has this and they are most welcome to go through the process of the FIA, to go through that."

In the past, Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel were particularly outspoken with regard to messages displayed on items of clothing, notably pertaining to the 'Black Lives Matter' cause or the LGBTQ+ community.

Certain slogans 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.

Ben Sulayem is adamant the FIA is not "shutting down" the drivers but is instead merely seeking to "improve and clean up" the sport.

"I have my own personal things, okay, but it doesn't mean I will use the FIA to do it," added Ben Sulayem, who, from his personal Twitter account on Sunday, expressed concern there had been "an adverse reaction" to the Andretti/General Motors tie up.

"The FIA should be neutral, I believe. We need the superstars in to make the sport.

"If there is anything, you take the permission. If not, if they make any other mistake, it's like speeding in the pit lane. If you do it, it's very clear what you get."

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