Bottas at odds with FIA ban on drivers' political statements

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Valtteri Bottas has expressed his concerns with the FIA's crackdown on drivers using F1 as a platform for making political statements.

At the end of last year, motorsport's governing body amended its International Sporting Code which now includes a provision that bans drivers from expressing or displaying "political, religious and personal statements", unless they have been previously approved by the FIA.

The FIA's decision followed several years during which political and environmental activism was exhibited in F1, with the likes of Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel often using their notoriety on race day to denounce social injustice, inequalities, or climate change issues.

However, under the governance of FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem, a change of policy has been implemented.

"I am a big believer in the sport," said Ben Sulayem, speaking to the media while visiting the Dakar rally earlier this month in Saudi Arabia.

"We are concerned with building bridges. You can use sport for peace reasons and all of this.

"But one thing we don’t want is to have the FIA as a platform for private personal agenda. We will divert from the sport."

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Hamilton has yet to publicly comment on the FIA's stance, but his former Mercedes teammate has made clear that he's unimpressed with the governing body's desire to control the drivers' freedom of expression.

"Personally, I don’t like politics," Bottas told Sweden's Expressen during last weekend's ROC.

"I like to do what I love, which is racing, but politics is at the same time part of today’s society.

"I think Formula 1 has done a good job of paying attention to some of these kinds of issues and many drivers have raised their voices, including Sebastian [Vettel].”

"I do not understand why they want to control us. I think we should have the right to talk about what we want. That is how I see it, but we will see what happens."

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