Perez demands freedom of expression from the FIA
By Ian Parkes
Wednesday 8th February, 2023 - 4:43am
Sergio Perez has called on the FIA to reverse a controversial ruling and allow the F1 drivers to freely express themselves.
Motorsport’s world governing body caused a stir in December when it announced a change to its regulations.
Formula 1 drivers now have to seek written permission from the FIA should they wish to make religious, political, or personal statements or comments over the course of a grand prix weekend.
The clampdown has arisen after Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel, in particular, have shone a light in recent years on political, social, and environmental issues at a number of races.
The FIA’s decision has already been criticised by Alfa Romeo driver Valtteri Bottas who recently expressed his frustration.
“I do not understand why they want to control us,” said Bottas. “We should have the right to talk about what we want.”
Red Bull driver Perez has now added his voice to the growing debate.
Asked by Speedcafe.com about the issue, Perez said: “It’s something we haven’t discussed within the GPDA (Grand Prix Drivers’ Association) but it’s something that we don’t feel comfortable with.
“We want to be ourselves and we want to be able to express ourselves in the way that we want.
“We all have different views, different beliefs in religious ways. I get the political side, but we all should be free to express ourselves the way we want.
“I believe in sport it’s important to be able to express yourself.
“I struggle to think they (the FIA) will be able to control what you are able to say or not to say.
“That to me is not correct, but we will discuss that.”
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