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Formular One drivers risk sanctions over activism

Formular One drivers

The world governing body for Formular One, International Automobile Federation (FIA), has said drivers risk being sanctioned by the body if they use the platform to advocate for personal and political causes.

The FIA President, Mohammed Ben Sulayem, has said all drivers will need a written permission before making any “political, religious and personal statements,” from next season following an update of the International Sporting Code.

Sulayem, a Dubai-born former rally driver was quoted by Sky Sports as saying, “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.

“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.”

He added, “We will divert from the sport. 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.”

Seven-time Formula 1 world champion, Lewis Hamilton, 38, is one of the drivers over the years that has been very vocal about causes dear to him, advocating mostly for anti-racism and diversity.

Sebastian Vettel is also among high-profile drivers who made such statements in recent seasons before he retired last year.


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