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today is Apr 01, 2023

Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali expects the FIA will clarify its position over its clampdown on drivers making political statements and says the sport will not silence anyone.

As RaceFans revealed in December, the sport’s governing body inserted new language into the International Sporting Code for 2023 which banned “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 under its Statutes”.

The change has been interpreted by some drivers as an attempt to censor them. Yesterday Alex Albon said “we need to be able to speak freely” and “it is a responsibility for the drivers to make people aware” of certain social issues.

“Politics and stances, it seems it’s a very sensitive area,” he added. “So we need clarity from the FIA on what they’re trying to tell us.”

Even Max Verstappen, who by his own admission seldom speaks out on political matters, raised concerns about the FIA’s stance, saying it was “probably a bit unnecessary”.

Domenicali insisted “F1 will never put a gag on anyone” and indicated the FIA shares the view that drivers should be allowed to put their views forward.

“We are talking about a regulation and the regulator is the FIA,” he told The Guardian. “I believe the FIA will clarify what has been stated, in terms of respecting certain places where you cannot do it.

“I am sure the FIA will share the same view as F1 but they are part of an Olympic federation so there are protocols to which they have to abide.”

The FIA was given full recognition by the International Olympic Committee in 2013. It has previously said the new ISC clauses were in line with the principles of the Olympic Movement.

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