Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton does not mind running the risk of expulsion or a severe penalty from FIA, but he will speak out on matters despite the governing body mandating drivers not to make political statements.
Hamilton has been one of the most outspoken drivers in recent years and has led a number of diversity and inclusion programs in the sport.
FIA recently released a mandate that would limit drivers from expressing their views.
In December, the governing body of the sport said drivers would be prohibited from “the general making and display of political, religious and personal statements or comments notably in violation of the general principle of neutrality promoted by the FIA”.
Lando Norris recently said that even he would not mind breaking such rules as they risk making drivers feel like ‘robots’.
“It doesn’t surprise me,” Hamilton said.
“But nothing will stop me from speaking on the things that I’m passionate about, and on issues that there are.”
Hamilton explained how the need to advocate for social justice was paramount for him.
“The sport does have a responsibility still to speak out, to create awareness on important topics, particularly as we travel to all these different places,” he said.
“So nothing changes for me.”
Hamilton confessed that “it would be silly to say” that he “would want to get penalty points for speaking out.”
However, he wanted to make it clear that he would speak his mind out regardless of the rule.
He alluded to the fact that drivers in the sport had a platform through which they could make a positive change in the world.
“I am still going to be speaking my mind,” he said.
“We still have this platform, and there are still a lot of things we need to tackle.”
Hamilton has had tussles with FIA in the past
Hamilton had famously worn a t-shirt that he displayed after winning the Tuscan Grand Prix in 2020. It read: “Arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor” on the front, with an image of Taylor on the back and the words “Say her name”.
Following this, FIA quickly made a change to its rules that prohibited drivers from wearing such items of clothing after races.
Hamilton did not see the funny side of things, claiming that a number of rules seemed to be made just to drown his voice or actions.
“Well, they’ve changed a lot of rules after a lot of things that I’ve done,” he had said.
Hamilton is the only Black driver in F1 and he spoke about how other sportsmen have inspired him to achieve greatness in F1.
“My dad and I would watch people like Tiger [Woods] who kind of broke the mold, and we watched in admiration. The Williams sisters also did the same,” he said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.
“We’re like, ‘Oh, if we could do something like that, that’s going to help change the industry moving forward.'”
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