Valtteri Bottas has questioned the new rule instated by the FIA ahead of the 2023 season regarding the projection of political and personal statements.
The Alfa Romeo driver believes that the governing body should not be in control of what the drivers wish to say.
Late last year, the FIA confirmed that it had implemented a new rule for the upcoming campaign that prohibits unapproved political, religious and personal statements from drivers competing across its motorsport categories.
Bottas’ former Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton has been particularly outspoken in recent years on matters such as equality and diversity, while the now-retired Sebastian Vettel has been an advocate for human rights and climate change awareness.
Speaking at the Race of Champions last weekend, Bottas stated that he wasn’t a fan of the FIA’s decision, despite not having plans to project political statements going forward.
“Personally, I don’t like politics,” Bottas told Swedish publication Expressen. “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.”
The rule has received backlash from a human rights organisation, which has accused the FIA of “suppressing drivers’ freedom of speech”.
However, McLaren team boss Zak Brown says that the messaging from drivers got “out of control”, while Mercedes’ Toto Wolff believes that the FIA “means well” with its restrictions.
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