Drivers including the ‘racing emperor’ Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes, England) won the ‘war for freedom of expression’ against Formula One (F1).
The International Automobile Federation (FIA), which hosts F1, announced on the 18th that it had distributed a guideline confirming the scope of application of the ‘political speech ban’ regulation.
The FIA caused controversy at the end of last year by establishing a new rule that drivers should not make political or religious comments.
The regulations did not clearly indicate where or when such remarks were prohibited. If the regulations are interpreted as they are, even if a driver makes a comment about a social issue in a place other than the circuit or on social media, there is a lot of room for discipline.
However, the FIA has significantly reduced the conditions under which the political speech ban is applied through new guidelines.
In fact, it was decided to ban political comments only at official events before and after the race, such as awards ceremonies.
Also, at the press conference after the race, if a reporter asked a question about a social issue, I was allowed to freely express my thoughts.
It was also confirmed that there are no restrictions on political statements through social media.
The British BBC evaluated that “the FIA appears to have effectively abrogated the ban on political speech
After enacting the rules in question, the FIA has received strong criticism from drivers, racing fans, and English-speaking media.
Hamilton, a black driver who did not hesitate to speak out about social issues such as racial discrimination, repeatedly expressed his intention not to abide by the regulations, saying, “Nothing can stop me from speaking freely.”
Lando Norris (McLaren, England)메이저놀이터 strongly criticized, saying, “FIA is trying to treat grown-up drivers like students and like children. We are adults who don’t need permission one by one.”
Meanwhile, the F1 World Championship in the 2023 season will begin a nine-month long journey, starting with the Bahrain Grand Prix at the Sakir Circuit in Bahrain on the 5th of next month.
20 drivers from 10 teams compete in 23 grand prix events to determine the champion.
Max Verstappen (Red Bull, Netherlands) challenges for a third consecutive victory, and Hamilton starts to return to power after 3 years.
In particular, if Hamilton wins this year, he will set a record for winning the most eight times in his career. Currently, Hamilton is tied for first place in this category with the ‘legend’ Michael Schumacher (Germany).
In the end, the FIA seems to have raised the ‘white flag’ against strong public opinion.