Magnussen joins growing chorus to condemn FIA gag

Kevin Magnussen has called for drivers to be allowed "freedom" to speak out on contentious topics

Kevin Magnussen has criticised the FIA

Kevin Magnussen has become the latest to speak out against the FIA’s controversial ruling effectively gagging F1 drivers from speaking their minds on contentious subjects.

In December, the FIA updated its International Sporting Code, informing drivers they needed to seek written permission to make ‘political, religious or personal statements or comments’.

This has caused an uproar, resulting in numerous drivers criticising the FIA. F1 CEO and President Stefano Domenicali declared his organisation “would never gag anyone”.

Haas driver Magnussen has conceded to “surprise” at the FIA’s edict.

“I still need to understand it,” said Magnussen, speaking to the UK’s Sky Sports. “Many of us still kind of need to understand what exactly it means.

“I grew up in a country where we are all free to express our views and religions, free to speak our mind.

“That is a value that I appreciate and would like to see in Formula 1 as well. So (I am) curious to see how that goes, how those conversations are going to go.”

Magnussen demands ‘freedom’ to speak

At present, drivers face the risk of a penalty at an event should they ignore the ruling. understands FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem is due to clarify the situation at the upcoming F1 Commission meeting in London.

Asked whether, as a group of drivers, they would continue to speak out, Magnussen replied: “Yeah, absolutely, but we’re here to race.

“We don’t want to get penalties imposed on us because of different things.

“It’s just not great. I would like to have the freedom to…not that I necessarily plan to do anything, but having that freedom is an essential value.”

Magnussen has ‘good gut feeling’ for Haas

On the track, although Haas has so far only revealed the livery of its VF-23, Magnussen is buoyed by what has been taking place behind the scenes over the winter.

With a new title sponsor on board, and after attracting numerous other partners, Haas is expected to hit the budget cap of US$135m (AUS$195m) this year.

A confident Magnussen, who scored the team’s first pole position in last season’s São Paulo GP, said: “All I can say is that it feels like there are a lot of good things happening in the team.

“Last year was good. We made a good step forward in terms of performance, but also we were able to attract Moneygram as a title sponsor, along with a few others as well.

“It just feels like everything is early, ready, of a better quality, and when you look at the new car, it looks like it evolved in a nice way.

“The gut feeling is good. I’m really looking forward to driving the thing. I have a feeling it’s going to be an exciting year.”

Join the discussion below in the comments section

Please note: reserves the right to remove any comment that does not follow the comment policy. For support, contact [email protected]