No more political messages: In future, Formula 1 drivers will be prohibited from publicly showing political messages. There will no longer be any signs of support for the Black Lives Matter movement or the LGBTQ community. The regulatory authority Fia has made an adjustment to its regulations. Point 12.2.1.n of the International Sports Regulations will in future make “political, religious and personal statements or comments” a violation of the rules without prior approval.

In particular, record world champions Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel have caused a stir in the past with their political statements. For example, ahead of the 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix, Vettel wore a rainbow-colored T-shirt that read “Same Love” to show solidarity with the LGBTQ community, i.e. people with different identities and sexual orientations. The German was warned for the action before the national anthem was played.

Hamilton wore a t-shirt that read “Arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor” after his Mugello win in 2020. The Englishman recalled the black American woman who had been shot dead by police officers during an operation in her house months earlier. The Fia then prohibited the visible wearing of T-shirts on the winners’ podium.

Political messages on the race track are prohibited by the regulatory authority in principle. However, since the beginning of 2020, the association has also permitted gestures in support of the fight against racism at the instigation of Hamilton’s drivers. Vettel has also repeatedly campaigned for climate protection, for example.

Referring to the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) code of ethics, a Fia spokesman noted that the International Sport Regulations had been updated “consistent with the political neutrality of sport as a universal ethical principle of the Olympic movement”.

The World Automobile Association will continue to focus on “underrepresented groups to achieve a more balanced representation of gender and origin and to create a more diverse and inclusive culture”.