Hamilton to defy FIA by ‘still speaking his mind’
By Ian Parkes
Thursday 16th February, 2023 - 12:15am
Lewis Hamilton has vowed to defy the FIA and continue to speak his mind despite an effective ban by motorsport’s governing body on freedom of speech within F1.
In December, the FIA controversially opted to update its International Sporting Code by insisting the drivers now seek written permission should they wish to make politicial, religious or personal statements or comments.
This has caused uproar amongst the drivers who have since delivered unified condemnation.
Their stance has been supported by F1 CEO and President Stefano Domenicali who made clear his organisation would never gag anyone.
The situation is due to be discussed at next week’s F1 Commission meeting, with FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem under pressure to clarify his position on the matter.
Hamilton, who has long been a leading advocate on particular topics such as diversity and inclusion, and who has also spoken out against particular injustices when F1 has visited certain countries, is adamant he will not be silenced.
“It (the FIA rule) doesn’t surprise me,” said Hamilton, speaking on the day Mercedes launched its new 2023 challenger.
“But nothing will stop me from speaking on the things that I feel that I’m passionate about and issues that there are.
“I feel the sport does have a responsibility still to always speak out on things, to create awareness and on important topics.
“Particularly as we’re travelling to all these different places, and so nothing changes.”
Hamilton delighted by driver unity
At present, the update to the ISC does not stipulate what punishment would be levied by the FIA for future infringements.
McLaren driver Lando Norris has suggested he would be willing to be fined if it meant he could continue to speak out.
Hamilton recognises there has to be a line drawn if the FIA opted to punish drivers by docking points.
The 38-year-old, however, has at least been delighted by the unity of the drivers so far and Domenicali’s support.
“I think it would be silly to say that I would want to get penalty points for speaking out on things,” added Hamilton.
“But as I said to you, I’m still going to be speaking my mind.
“We still have this platform, there are still a lot of things that we need to tackle.
“But the support of Stefano has been amazing.
“I think all the drivers have been very much aligned on freedom of speech.”
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