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Lewis Hamilton isn’t phased by a new rule in Formula 1 requiring drivers to get permission before making political statements during race weekends … saying, he “won’t be silenced.”
“Nothing will stop me from speaking on the things that I feel that I’m passionate about and issues there are,” the seven-time F1 champion said Wednesday.
The FIA, Formula 1’s governing body, implemented a rule in December prohibiting drivers from making political, religious, or personal statements without permission.
The idea is statements political in nature can be divisive (after all, much of the world is split when it comes to politics), and F1 doesn’t want fans alienated. It’s like the old Michael Jordan quote … “Republicans buy sneakers, too.”
Hamilton, one of the most vocal superstars in the sport, said he wasn’t surprised when he learned of the FIA’s new rule, and he doesn’t plan to abide by it … “I’m still going to be speaking on my end.”
“I feel the sport does have a responsibility, still always, to speak out as a means to create awareness on important topics, particularly as we are traveling to all these different places, so nothing changes,” Lewis says.
Hamilton’s had a contentious relationship with FIA … he found himself in a battle with them last season after they (attempted to) crackdown on drivers wearing jewelry during races.
The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver said that he’s aware he would be penalized if he violates the FIA’s new rule … but contends he won’t allow that to deter him from speaking out on issues.
“We still have this platform. There’s a lot of things we need to tackle.”