Motor RacingDrivers Must Not Use The Sport For ‘personal Agenda’, Says FIA President


Motor RacingDrivers Must Not Use The Sport For 'personal Agenda', Says FIA President

Spanish Grand Prix © Thomson Reuters Spanish Grand Prix

(Reuters) – Formula One drivers should not use the platform provided by the FIA ​​to make statements about their goals, the sports federation's president, Mohammed Ben Sulayem, said on Tuesday.

PHOTO: Grand Prix of Tuscany © Thomson Reuters PHOTO: Grand Prix of Tuscany

Formula One drivers will need prior written permission from the sport's governing body to make "political, religious and personal statements" from next season following an update to the International Sporting Code.

Bahrain Grand Prix © Thomson Reuters Bahrain Grand Prix

Unless written permission is granted by the FIA, pilots who make such statements are now in breach of the rules.

"Our goal is to build bridges. You can use sport for peaceful purposes… But we do not want the FIA ​​to be used as a platform to resolve personal issues,” Ben Sulayem told reporters.

"We are taking a break from sports. What does a driver do best? To go. They are very good, they run businesses, they do shows, they are stars. No one prevents it.

“There are other platforms to express what you want. Everybody has that and they can go through the FIA ​​process, they can.”

Austrian Grand Prix © Thomson Reuters Austrian Grand Prix

Former champions Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel were among high-profile drivers to make similar claims in recent seasons.

Hamilton has advocated for human rights and racial equality, as well as LGBTQ+ rights in conservative countries such as Saudi Arabia, which has hosted two races from 2021.

Vettel, who retired last year, has focused on issues related to LGBTQ rights and climate change.

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Ben Sulayem rejected the FIA's idea of ​​firing pilots, saying he wanted to "improve and clean up" the sport.

"I have personal things, but that doesn't mean I'm going to use the FIA ​​for them," said former UAE driver Ben Sulayem.

"I think the FIA ​​should be neutral. We need superstars to play sports.

"If anything, ask permission. Otherwise, if they get it wrong again, it's like racing to pit lane. It's pretty obvious what you get when you do that.'

(Reporting by Rohit Nair in Bangalore; Editing by Christian Radney)

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